The Man Who Sold His Skin

Kaouther Ben Hania

Lovers Sam and Abeer are separated by the Syrian civil war. Sam is in Lebanon, Abeer in a loveless marriage in Brussels. A cynical, world-famous artist gives Sam a chance to find Abeer, but the cost is enormous. Beautiful, original tale about dignity, love and the true nature of freedom.

When impulsive and sensitive Sam has to flee Syria, he loses his true love Abeer. Living in Beirut, Sam fantasises about rescuing Abeer from her loveless marriage in Brussels. But he has no way to travel to Europe. Then Sam meets the provocative, nihilistic artist Jeffrey Godefroy, who offers Sam a way to get to Belgium. They strike a deal: Sam’s back will be the canvass on which Jeffrey crafts a tattoo artwork of a Schengen visa. In return, Jeffrey arranges a real visa for Sam.

As his tattooed back becomes a famous work of art, Sam himself becomes a commodity, shown in museums. But at least he is in Brussels, having a chance to win back Abeer. Although he is staying in a 5-star hotel, Sam finds out he has lost more than just the virgin skin on his back. Beautiful, thought-provoking film by Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania (Beauty and the Dogs).


Kaouther Ben Hania
Country of production
France, Tunisia, Belgium, Sweden, Germany
104 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, English, French
Dutch distributor