Unlocking the Cage

Series: Portland EcoFilm Festival

Thursday, July 7 at 7:30pm  |  $10  |

The Portland EcoFilm Festival presents the Pacific Northwest premiere of UNLOCKING THE CAGE, by acclaimed filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker. Filmmakers Hegedus and Pennebaker and film subject Steven Wise in attendance!

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. 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.

91 minutes
Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker


Friday, July 8