Brief synopsis

Sam Ali, a Syrian young man, took refuge in Lebanon to flee the Syrian civil war. There, he meets Jeffrey Godefroi, a famous American contemporary artist. The artist makes Sam Ali his piece of work by tattooing his back. Sam Ali then passes from the status of vulgar “undocumented” to that of a work of art internationally sought after. His tattooed skin is worth an astronomical sum on the art market, collectors are interested, auction goes up, human rights activists are outraged. How to get out of such a trap, how to become a man again when one is relegated to the status of a commercial good? This is the dilemma of Sam Ali, the man who sold his skin.


ActorRole nameVoice actor / SpeakerVoice actor
Yahya MahayniSam Ali [L]Asad Schwarz
Déa LianeAbeer [L]
Koen De BouwJeffrey Godefroi [L]
Monica BellucciSoraya Waldy [GS]
Saad LostanZiad [SR]
Darina Al JoundiSam's mother [SR]
Jan DahdouhHazem [SR]
Christian VadimWilliam [SR]
Marc de PandaMarc Sheen [SR]
Najoua ZouhairSam's sister [SR]
Husam ChadatAdel Saadi [SR]
Nadim CheikhrouhaMuseum guard [SR]
Rémi SarminiPoliceman 1 [SR]
Mouldi KridenPoliceman 2 [SR]
Rupert Wynne-JamesMartin. Curator of Museum [SR]
Wim DelvoyeInsurance man [SR]
Ingo BroschAuctioneer [BP]


1st ADMarie Fischer [1]
Vfx supervisorJean-Michel Boublil
ColoristDirk Meier
Director of photographyChristopher Aoun
Camera operatorNestor Salazar
Costume designerRanda Khedher
DirectorKaouther Ben Hanja
Script continuityKhadija Babai-Bouassida
EditorMarie-Hélène Dozo
Key makeup artistMaryline Scarselli
Fx makeup artistFlorence Depestele
ComposerAmin Bouhafa
ProducerHabib Attia
ProducerMartin Hampel
ProducerAnnabella Nezri
ProducerNadim Cheikhrouha
ProducerAndreas Rocksen
ProducerThanassis Karathanos
Production designerSophie Abdelke
Graphic artistDelphine Chollet
Production managerKhaled W. Barsaoui
Production managerMarie-Sophie Volkenner
Production managerJacques Reboud
ScreenwriterKaouther Ben Hanja
Sound re-recording mixerLeny Andrieux
Sound editorAnders Billing Vive

Distributing companies

BAC Films [fr]France (theatrical) & World Sales
eksystent FilmverleihGermany (theatrical)


Cameras and UtilitiesVantage Film GmbH


Award winnerYearAwardCategory 
Kaouther Ben Hanja2020Venice Int' Film Festival [it]Edipo Re AwardWinner
Kaouther Ben Hanja2020Venice Film Festival [it]Orizzonti AwardNominated
Yahya Mahayni2020Venice Film Festival [it]Orrizonti - Best ActorWinner
Christopher Aoun2021German Camera Award [de]Fiction filmNominated
Kaouther Ben Hanja2021Academy Awards - Oscars [us]Best International Feature FilmNominated
Kaouther Ben Hanja2021Int. Frauen* Film Fest Dortmund+Köln [de]Int. SpielfilmwettbewerbNominated


2021GermanyLichter Filmfest
2020ItalyVenice Film FestivalOrizzonti


Theatre releaseFranceWednesday, 16/06/2021
Theatre releaseSwedenFriday, 23/04/2021
PremiereSaturday, 05/09/2020Venice Film Festival [it]