The teenage life and adventures of young José, who lives in a shanty-town on Martinique in the mid-1930s, comprises the body of this film. José lives with his grandmother and is well aware of the French colonial presence. He gets into mischief, learns valuable lessons on living from an old former slave, drinks too much one time, and even sets fire to one of the run-down shanties. Regardless of his pranks, José never neglects his education.
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