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Who Do You Think You Are?
E3 of 10
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Series 13 - Episode 3
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Liz Bonnin stands on a hillside in Martinique, looking out over the landscape of lush slopes below her. It’s land where one of her ancestors had a sugar plantation and Bonnin has said from the start she realises that, of course, there are likely to have been slave owners in her family. But the reality proves harder to digest, and humanly complicated in ways she wasn’t prepared for. They keep wrong-footing us, too.
It’s what this series has down to a fine art – releasing its discoveries to a slow, measured rhythm, so each moment, each revelation from an old document or relative lands with new emotional force. Since Bonnin’s mother was from Trinidad with Indian-Portuguese heritage and her father was French Martiniquan, there’s no shortage of journeys to trace. They include the moving story of how her mother’s great-great-grandparents migrated from Uttar Pradesh to Trinidad and sacrificed their Indian culture in order to become pillars of the community.
Liz Bonnin takes part in the popular genealogy documentary, in which famous faces trace their family trees. The wildlife presenter describes herself as `a mongrel' - the result of her parents' lineages on the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Martinique. In Trinidad, she goes in search of the first of her maternal ancestors to arrive on the island from India. Liz then heads to Martinique, where her paternal ancestors are said to have owned plantations - and slaves. However, what she uncovers is more complicated than she could have imagined.
Cast & Crew
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