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The Man Who Sold His Skin(الرجل الذي باع ظهره)

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Tunisia, France, Belgium · 2020
1h 44m
Director Kaouther Ben Hania
Starring Yahya Mahayni, Monica Bellucci, Koen De Bouw, Rupert Wynne-James
Genre Drama

Sam Ali is a Syrian refugee who has been separated from his true love, the wealthy and beautiful Abeer, who is now in Paris. When Sam meets a world-renowned tattoo artist by chance at a party that he crashes, Sam is offered the chance to travel freely across borders - by offering his back as the canvas for the artist's latest tattoo.

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What are critics saying?


Slant Magazine by Derek Smith

Art, commerce, and immigration are inextricably bound in Kaouther Ben Hania’s playful and gently moving, if uneven, film.


Austin Chronicle by Jenny Nulf

Tunisia’s first Oscar-nominated film, The Man Who Sold His Skin, is an emulsion of ideas, each as ambitiously thought-provoking as the next.


Washington Post by Michael O'Sullivan

At times, The Man Who Sold His Skin plays like a cultural parody, but its aim is dead serious, and more sobering. The pathos and tragedy of the global refugee crisis is its target, not the pretensions of the international art market, and it, from time to time, delivers a sting.


The New York Times by Nicolas Rapold

The lustrously shot movie breaks Sam out of the gallery grind through Hollywood-grade somersaults in storytelling (one of them so breezily violent as to feel a little tasteless)


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

When it’s all over, the viewer gets to wrestle with everything everyone here does — the plight of Syria, the nature of art, “exploitation” and the nature of “freedom.” Not bad for the first Tunisian film much of the world will have ever had the chance to see.


Screen Daily by Sarah Ward

It’s the central performance by feature first-timer Mahayni that best demonstrates the picture’s overall charms.

63 by Tomris Laffly

While it hardly breaks new ground, The Man Who Sold His Skin still manages to be a breezy watch, with an assured filmmaker gently steering it through a rough-around-the-edges tale.

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