Watch the Movie Club with Hendrik Folkerts - Dittmer Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Hannah Feldman - Associate Professor of Art History and core faculty of Middle Eastern, North African Studies and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern. 


"A wild ride." - Sarah Ward, Screen International 

"A provocative contemporary take on a Faustian bargain." - Alissa Simon, Variety

In this darkly satirical commentary on artists, commerce, immigration and borders, Tunisia director Kaouther Ben Hania takes a winking aim at modern art, exploitation and the Syrian refugee crisis. Young Syrian lovers Sam and Abeer are forced apart when they both flee - him to Beirut after escaping unlawful imprisonment, and her to Brussels, in the arms of a diplomat she is pressured to marry. Desperate to acquire a coveted visa and be reunited with the love of his life, Sam accepts an outrageous offer: let the controversial, wildly successful  (and cocky) modern artist Jeffrey Godefroy tattoo Sam's back, thus making him a piece of art that can travel across any border freely. Sam quickly realizes the emotional and physiological cost of his canvas, as he is put on display in an exhibit for onlookers to gawk, and his price to be named. In equal turns tender and outrageous, Ben Hania explores how audiences consume culture, how artists appropriate crises, and how the relationship between art and audience shifts in unpredictable ways when the art can look, talk, and scream back. (Rebecca Fons)

Festivals, Awards & Nominations

Nominee - Best International Feature Film, Academy Awards

Winner - Best Arab Film, El Gouna Film Festival

Winner - Best Actor, Venice Film Festival

Winner - Best Screenplay, Stockholm Film Festival