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Unlocking the Cage focuses on the crusade of Steven Wise to convince the legal system that animals qualify for human rights under habeas corpus.

Courtesy of Films We Like

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Unlocking the Cage
Directed by
Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker
Starring
Steven Wise
Genre
Documentary
Classification
PG
Country
USA
Language
English
Year
2016

Can you appreciate a documentary even if you wildly disagree with its central subject? That's the question Unlocking the Cage poses, at least for this reviewer.

Focusing on the crusade of Steven Wise to convince the legal system that animals qualify for human rights under habeas corpus, the film constantly asks you to side with the lawyer and the PETA-esque Nonhuman Rights Project, even as it shows the advocates constantly stumbling and occasionally grasping for straws.

Normally, this would be an easy way to undercut a documentary, but the powerful filmmaking duo of Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker somehow turn Wise's quest into a compelling and noble tale, no matter what your thoughts are on the views presented.

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