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Unlocking the Cage

Director - Chris Hegedus and DA Pennebaker
Run Time - 91 minutes
Languages - English
Format - DVD / Digital Streaming
Year - 2016
Genre - Documentary

Educational Interests- American Studies, Anthropology, Civil Rights, Cultural Studies, Human Rights, Law & Legal Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Science

Institutional DVD Price: $345

Unlocking the Cage follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. Arguing that cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and elephants have the capacity for limited personhood rights, Steve and his legal team are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform a chimpanzee from a "thing" with no rights to a "person" with legal protections. Unlocking the Cage captures a monumental shift in our culture, as the public and judicial system show increasing receptiveness to Steve's impassioned arguments. It is an intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man's lifelong quest to protect "nonhuman" animals.

"D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus bring their relaxed, acute observational style of filmmaking to bear on a thorny tangle of legal and philosophical questions. Observant and absorbing." - The New York Times

"Engaging... With legal-thriller pacing and emotional intelligence, [the film] makes a worthy case for reconsidering the sturdiness of laws that explicitly separate humans from animals." - Los Angeles Times