Virginia Film Festival 2016: Unlocking the Cage

Pennebaker (left) and Hegedus at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year.

Sean McCord talks with legendary filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus about their film Unlocking The Cage.

From the Virginia Film Festival: “After 30 years of struggling with ineffective animal welfare laws, animal rights lawyer Steven Wise is making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal with no rights to a “person” with legal protections. Using two years of behind the scenes footage, the documentary team of Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker exposes Wise’s unprecedented struggle to break down the legal wall dividing animals and humans. Arguing to secure the rights of four chimpanzees in New York State, Wise maintains that cognitively complex animals have the capacity for limited personhood rights that would protect them from physical abuse. Signifying a groundbreaking shift towards the acknowledgement of animal rights, Hegedus and Pennebaker provide an intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever alter our legal system.”

Unlocking the Cage screens Sunday at 1:00 PM; The War Room screens tonight at 6:00 PM.