Art satire meets immigration drama within the Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania’s “The Man Who Sold His Skin.” Ben Hania repurposes a real-life chapter from the annals of the artwork world, when the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye tattooed the again of a person, after which bought it as artwork. What appears like a recipe for bother — what concerning the human who’s the canvas? — is strictly the place the film lives, spinning a prickly cautionary story of exploitation and commodification.
Sam Ali (Yahya Mahayni) is jailed after declaring his love for Abeer (Dea Liane) on a prepare in Syria. Escaping to Lebanon, he crosses paths with a high-flying artiste, Jeffrey Godefroi (Koen De Bouw), who presents authorized passage to Europe in change for conscripting Sam in an audacious mission. That entails tattooing Sam’s again with a Schengen visa and showcasing him in museums. (Lending a plot help as Jeffrey’s modish affiliate is Monica Bellucci.)
Sam retains Skyping with Abeer, who’s now caught in a parent-approved marriage to a diplomat, and their slender romantic thread pulls the story alongside by Sam’s typically clunky trials as a museum piece and luxury-hotel inmate. His emotions of being a perpetual outsider, valued for every little thing however his personhood, physique forth the dehumanizing components of some immigrant expertise.
The lustrously shot film breaks Sam out of the gallery grind by Hollywood-grade somersaults in storytelling (considered one of them so breezily violent as to really feel a bit of tasteless). But the story evidently struck a chord, garnering an Academy Award nomination (like “The Square” earlier than it) within the worldwide function class.
The Man Who Sold His Skin
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 44 minutes. In theaters. Please seek the advice of the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier than watching motion pictures inside theaters.