Unlocking the Cage

“A surprisingly suspenseful and compelling courtroom thriller... Simply put, UNLOCKING THE CAGE tells a great story.” – Anthony Kaufman, Screen Daily

“The saddest image in Unlocking the Cage, the new film from documentary veterans Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, is that of Tommy, one of the chimps featured in the sappy 1980s’ Project X. Tommy now lives in captivity at an upstate New York trailer park. Retired from moviedom, he spends his days in a cage placed behind a glass enclosure, hidden in the back of a rarely visited trailer.

“The film follows lawyer Steven Wise's perilous attempt to upgrade the legal status of chimps, elephants, dolphins and other animals with human-like sentiments. Recognizing them as "persons," Wise argues, is the only way to truly protect them from animal cruelty.

“Wise is often ridiculed in the press — but to their credit, the filmmakers neither condescend to nor lionize their subject. Unlocking the Cage is a genuine rarity: a rather happy documentary about a losing battle for justice.” - The Village Voice


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