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My Ancestors Were

Rogues & Murderers



   A remarkable and beautiful film… Funny and heartbreaking,

tragic and inspiring"






The film that provoked a debate in the European Parliament and a brick through the director’s living room window. 


It's 1977 and Brian Davies, head of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, has brought Brigitte Bardot to Newfoundland to protest the seal hunt. The villains of the piece are the inhabitants of the island's northern outports, their image transmitted to the world as the epitome of brutality. It was a PR coup that launched the animal rights movement onto the international stage. 


This film tells the story of those "villains". In a thoughtful contribution to the debate on Canada's seal hunt, artist Anne Troake celebrates the unique culture of Newfoundland's outports. She explores the notions of ecology and conservation through the story of her extended family, descendants of 18th century settlers from the English West Country. Troake weaves her argument into a meditation on a resilient people and their special place in the world...


Directed and Written by: Anne Troake

Producer: Kent Martin

Editor: Chris Darlington

Cinematography: Nigel Markham

Sound: Harvey Hyslop


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