Dates & Times

Sep 09 Fri
7:00 PM
Sep 10 Sat
7:00 PM
Sep 11 Sun
7:00 PM
Sep 12 Mon
7:00 PM
Sep 13 Tue
7:00 PM
Sep 14 Wed
7:00 PM
 

 

View full calendar

 

LikeTweet

HomeFilmOn ScreenUnlocking the Cage


Unlocking the Cage

Unlocking the Cage follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. After 30 years of struggling with ineffective animal welfare laws, Steve and his legal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with legal protections.

Supported by affidavits from primatologists around the world, Steve maintains that, based on scientific evidence, cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and elephants have the capacity for limited personhood rights (such as bodily liberty) that would protect them from physical abuse. Using writs of habeas corpus (historically used to free humans from unlawful imprisonment), Wise argues on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State.

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.

"Part courtroom drama, part rumination on what separates human beings from other animals, the film is above all a sympathetic portrait of an advocate."

A.O. Scott New York Times

"Unlocking the Cage is a genuine rarity: a rather happy documentary about a losing battle for justice."

Sam Weisberg, Village Voice

"Engaging... makes a worthy case for reconsidering the sturdiness of laws that explicitly separate humans from animals. With legal-thriller pacing and emotional intelligence, it chronicles attorney Steven Wise’s gung-ho effort to get a U.S. court to recognize a chimpanzee as a legal person with protections, as opposed to a legal “thing” without rights."

Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

Movie Info

DIRECTED BY Chris Hegedus & D.A. Pennebaker
91 MINUTES

CINEMA ADMISSION:

REAL ART WAYS MEMBERS: $5
SENIOR & STUDENT MEMBERS: $4.50
Opens Friday, September 9

REGULAR ADMISSION: $11
SENIORS (65+): $7
FULL-TIME STUDENTS (WITH ID): $7

REAL ART WAYS' FACILITIES ARE WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE. ASSISTED LISTENING DEVICES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE CAFÉ.