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 thirty 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. Using writs of habeas corpus (historically used to free humans from unlawful imprisonment), Steve argues on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State. Unlocking the Cage captures a monumental shift in our culture and takes an intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system.

Directed by Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker. Special guests Natalie Prosin and Monica Miller.

Unlocking the Cage

2016 US 91 min
Festival Year: 2016
Types: DCEFF 365, Documentary
Topic: Animal Rights