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Unlocking The Cage: A film about man’s quest to achieve legal rights for animals

“Unlocking The Cage” is all about one man’s quest to achieve legal rights for animals

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Chimpanzee. Image source: interrete.org
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Filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus have come up with a new documentary called “Unlocking The Cage”. These 2 have collaborated on major award-winning films such as “The War Room, about Bill Clinton’s Presidential Campaign. In their new release, they have bought up their acute observational style of filmmaking.

According to npr.org, “Unlocking The Cage” is all about one man’s quest to achieve legal rights for animals. The whole plot is told from the Steven’s point of view (Steven Wise is a leading animal rights lawyer). In this film, he struggles in a New York Court to recognize a chimpanzee named Tommy as a person with limited legal rights. Above all the film is a sympathetic portrait of an advocate.

Poster of the film, "Unlocking the Cage". Image source: unlockingthecagethefilm.com
Poster of the film, “Unlocking the Cage”. Image source: unlockingthecagethefilm.com

Mr. Wise ideology is that “Animals should have the legal status of persons. What this means is not that they should be classified as human, but rather that their rights should be acknowledged and protected under the law.

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In the film, he is portrayed as a rumpled man in his mid-60s who defends in front of skeptical judges and journalists. His clients are the chimpanzees living in New York State in what appear to be miserable conditions. The camera follows Mr. Wise and his colleagues for several years as they build a case that they hope will establish a new precedent.

In the end, Mr. Wise also remarks in the movie that “This is the end of the beginning.” Some of Mr. Wise’s Positions also seems to be questionable. For example: How can a being without human language or human culture have to stand to seek redress from human institutions?

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Hegedus believes that a cultural shift is taking place right now in the world. So he hopes that his film will last. The filmmakers believe that once it is out in the world its fate is out of their hands.

-by Pritam, an intern at Newsgram. Twitter: Pritam_Gogreen

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Films like these should be appreciated to its best. We really need such kind of movies so that we understand the habits of animals and their rights

  • devika todi

    it should be ensured that such movies receive maximum appreciation and attention.

  • Paras Vashisth

    I really appreciate this because this types of films and documentaries create an impact on people’s minds which is very helpful to understand something.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Films like these should be appreciated to its best. We really need such kind of movies so that we understand the habits of animals and their rights

  • devika todi

    it should be ensured that such movies receive maximum appreciation and attention.

  • Paras Vashisth

    I really appreciate this because this types of films and documentaries create an impact on people’s minds which is very helpful to understand something.

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Japan Bans Smoking Inside Public Facilities, Seen By Critics as Pointless

The upper house approved and enacted the bill into law Wednesday after it was approved earlier by the lower house

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Japan
The law will be implemented in phases through April 2020. VOA

Japan on Wednesday approved its first national legislation banning smoking inside public facilities, but the watered-down measure excludes many restaurants and bars and is seen by critics as toothless.

The legislation aims to lower secondhand smoking risks ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics amid international calls for a smoke-free event. But ruling party lawmakers with strong ties to the tobacco and restaurant industries opted for a weakened version.

The upper house approved and enacted the bill into law Wednesday after it was approved earlier by the lower house.

Last month, Tokyo separately enacted a stricter ordinance banning smoking at all eateries that have employees, to protect them from secondhand smoke. The ordinance will cover about 84 percent of Tokyo restaurants and bars.

But the law still allows many exceptions and the Tokyo Games may not be fully smoke-free.

Japan often has been called a smokers’ paradise. Until now it has had no binding law controlling secondhand smoke and ranked among the least protected countries by the World Health Organization. That has brought pressure from international Olympic officials.

The new national law bans indoor smoking at schools, hospitals and government offices. Smoking will be allowed at existing small eateries, including those with less than 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) of customer space, which includes more than half of Japanese establishments. Larger and new eateries must limit smoking to designated rooms.

Violators can face fines of up to 300,000 yen ($2,700) for smokers and up to 500,000 yen ($4,500) for facility managers.

The law will be implemented in phases through April 2020.

Japan
The new national law bans indoor smoking at schools, hospitals and government offices. Pixabay

‘Too lenient’

The law allowing smoking at more than half of Japan’s restaurants as exceptions is inadequate, said Hiroyasu Muramatsu, a doctor serving on Tokyo’s anti-smoking committee. “The law is too lenient compared to international standards,” he told Japan’s NHK public television. “We need a full smoking ban.”

The health ministry’s initial draft bill called for stricter measures but faced opposition from lawmakers sympathetic to the restaurant industry. The government also was viewed as opposed to harsher measures because the former monopoly Japan Tobacco is still partly state-owned.

In Japan, almost a fifth of adults still smoke. The rate for men in their 30s to 50s is nearly twice as high, according to a government survey last year.

Also Read: Passive Smoking May Spike up Snoring Risk in Kids

Most office workers now light up only in smoking rooms or outdoors, and cities are gradually imposing limits on outdoor smoking in public areas. But most restaurants and bars in Japan allow smoking, making them the most common public source of secondhand smoke.

“Secondhand smoking has been largely considered an issue of the manners, but it’s not,” Kazuo Hasegawa, 47, a nonsmoker who has developed lung cancer, told NHK. “It’s about health hazards. It harms people. And I don’t want younger generations to have to suffer like me.”

In Japan, about 15,000 people, mainly women and children, die annually as a result of secondhand smoke, according to government and WHO estimates. (VOA)