'The Man Who Sold His Skin': Tunisia's Dark Oscars Nomination
Tunis, April 1 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 1st Apr, 2021 ) :It's a troubling political fable shot with a sophisticated aesthetic, and Tunisia's first-ever academy Award nomination: "The Man Who Sold His Skin".
When a contemporary artist tattoos a European Schengen visa across his back, Ali finds himself able to cross international borders as a living work of art.
"My intention from the start was to make him a contemporary hero who comes out on top and turns the adventure to his advantage." The story is partly inspired by the real-life tale of a Belgian man, Tim Steiner, who sold the right to tattoo his back, occasionally exhibit it, and recover the skin after his death, to the artist Wim Delvoye, who makes a cameo in the film.
Monica Bellucci plays a "fake blonde" gallerist while Syrian actor Yahya Mahayni portrays a sweet freedom-loving dreamer who oscillates between joy and anger in a volatile situation.
The characters in the story "resemble me, pushed to the extreme", she confided.
And like the eccentric artist in the film, she said, "I reflect on my work to the extreme".
Her earlier films have already won awards, including "Beauty and the Dogs" about a young woman's quest for justice after being raped, and "Zaineb Hates the Snow", a documentary about a Tunisian teenager who migrates to Canada.
Raising the budget of 2.5 million Euros ($2.9 million) was "a challenge", according to one of the co-producers, Nedim Cheikhrouha, who said the project almost collapsed a year ago due to lack of funds.
Ben Hania -- who says she is now working on a film "on the edge of genres" between documentary and fiction -- hopes that the Oscar nomination will, at the very least, "make my next films a little easier".