Unlocking The Cage, named one of Sundance’s top five Most Anticipated films by Ion Cinema was produced by renowned filmmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. In their latest project, they follow determined animal rights activist Steven Wise into the courtroom for an unprecedented battle that seeks to utilize the writ of habeas corpus to expand legal “personhood” to include certain animals. Wise’s unusual plaintiffs—chimpanzees Tommy and Kiko, once famed showbiz stars—are now living in filth, struggling to survive. Wise and his impassioned legal team take us into the field, revealing gripping evidence of such abuse and plunging us into the intricacies of their case as they probe preconceived notions of what it means to be a non-human animal.
Propelled by one man’s life mission of 30 years, the filmmakers mine this obsession and dedication to a cause that many experts feel is ripe for skepticism. Heartwarming and challenging, this powerfully crafted story does a remarkable job breaking down the science, legalities, and psychology behind a battle that, against all odds, has the potential to transform our legal system and effectively break down barriers between humans and animals.
Unlocking The Cage will be available for viewing at various times and locations during the festival. These are listed below:
2:45 PM MON 1/25: THE MARC
10:00 PM WED 1/27: REDSTONE CINEMA 2
12:00 PM THU 1/28: SUNDANCE MOUNTAIN RESORT SCREENING ROOM
9:00 PM FRI 1/29: SALT LAKE CITY LIBRARY THEATRE
6:00 PM SAT 1/30: YARROW HOTEL THEATRE