Unlocking the Cage – A film about the Non Human Rights Project
by Linda DeStefano
Translated by Rob English
According to Screen Daily, UNLOCKING THE CAGE is “A surprisingly suspenseful and compelling courtroom thriller”. According to the NY Times, “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 free airing of UNLOCKING THE CAGE will be Wednesday October 4 at 6:45 p.m. at May Memorial Unitarian-Universalist Society, 3800 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, sponsored by People for Animal Rights and the Green and Social Justice Committee of May Memorial.
Do you think of a chimpanzee as a THING? How about an elephant? An orca? Most of us probably regard these animals as beings, not things. However, according to the law, they are mere things. This has a huge negative impact on efforts to achieve victories on behalf of these and other animals.
A far-seeing and dedicated lawyer, Steven M. Wise, has persisted for years to try to change this unjust situation. He is founder and president of the Nonhuman Rights Project (nonhumanrights.org) and is featured in UNLOCKING THE CAGE. The Project uses litigation, legislation and education to try to transform the outdated legal concept that nonhuman animals are things rather than beings with legal rights. The Project has started with chimpanzees, elephants and orcas because it is more likely that courts will be convinced that these complex animals have self-awareness and autonomy – concepts which are central to Wise’s legal argument.
One of his goals is to find all the chimps imprisoned in NYS and then use the courts in NY to try to legally liberate them. His love for animals comes across in the film.
Find out more about People for Animal Rights at P.O. Box 15358, Syracuse, NY 13215-0358, firstname.lastname@example.org, (315)488-PURR (7877) between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. or peopleforanimalrightsofcny.org