On Mayotte, the only island in the Comoros that is still French, a group of outlawed young men lead their lives in the shadows, hunted by the police. Although they were born on this island north of Madagascar, not all of them hold French citizenship. They have nothing to rely on but their dogs.
The animals protect them from police brutality: “If the dog gets respect, so do I.” The dogs have no pedigree and no history; they just live from day to day, and they don’t know whether they will be beaten or shot tomorrow—their existence is as bare and uncertain as that of their owners. One of the men has had to fend for himself since he was 14, when his mother was deported from the island. He feels abandoned by all except by his dogs: “At least they always stay with me.”
Meanwhile, the only place the men feel at home, the forest beside the mangrove swamp, is being cut down. “We’re neither here nor there, nor in France, we’re just lost.” With rough tenderness, and excellent camera work, this empathetic film shows how the dogs form a lifeline in a colony where these men are not allowed to exist.