Unlocking the Cage

2016 | USA | NR | 91 min.


City Opera House Sat, Jul 30, 2016 9:00 PM
Old Town Playhouse Sun, Jul 31, 2016 3:00 PM
Film Info
Section:US Official Selection: Documentary
Don't Miss
Release Year:2016
Runtime:91 min.
Production Country:USA
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Chris Hegedus
D.A. Pennebaker
Produced by:Chris Hegedus
Frazer Pennebaker
Rosadel Varela
Cinematography:Chris Hegedus
Editing By:Pax Wassermann


Should animals have the same legal rights that people do? Even if you go in to “Unlocking the Cage” thinking this is a cuckoo concept, you’ll be surprised by your answer at the end of this deeply provocative film. Attorney and animal rights activist Steven Wise has dedicated his career to pursuing legal “personhood” status (a distinction we’ve already bestowed on corporations) for certain intelligent animals, including chimpanzees and whales. His goal is not for the animals to be categorized as human, but rather to have their rights protected under the law. This fascinating concept is made potently persuasive as Wise exhibits evidence of high animal IQs, acute awareness of surroundings, and suffering caused by deplorable conditions in amusement parks and labs. Legendary Oscar-nominated filmmakers and TCFF honorees D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus have created an enthralling, thought-provoking film, as riveting as a great courtroom drama, that just might forever change the way you view animals and their rights. In Person: Directors Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker.