Not Waving, But Drowning materialises the experience of Indian refugees during their arrest and detention by the harbour police in Zeebruges, Belgium. Within the tense, haunted context of the harbour and the seaside, and together with them, we slowly lose all sense of time and place. Without investigating their past or their future, the human traffic organisations or the Belgian legislation, the film transgresses into the timelessness in which our society imprisons people without papers. This subtle analysis of human exclusion and the reduction of human beings to the physical body makes us wonder if a human can be illegal at all?