In a superbly filmed shot from above, rows of feeding troughs form artificial blue lines in the reddish-brown sand. The heavy door swings open and the screen fills from every direction with onrushing dogs, their white, yellow, brown, or black fur adding painterly touches of color to the variegated ochre surroundings. In the distance we can hear loud barking; closer by, we hear the sound of munching and slurping. It’s mealtime, the high point of the day for the 750 stray dogs in this shelter in the Moroccan port city of Agadir.
Atmospheric scenes accompanied by spot-on sound design capture the emptiness of a dog’s life in captivity. At the dilapidated complex of large spaces—walled and open—the dogs relieve themselves, mate and give birth, scratch, clean and defend themselves, and fall asleep in clumps. Each dog has a metal tag attached to one floppy ear. They wait—unknowingly and resigned—to be adopted. The only human voice we hear is that of a radio announcer reporting on the flow of refugees around the world.