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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.

Next Story

Neanderthals And Sapiens Both Faced Risks

But the new study is not the final word on Neanderthal trauma

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Neanderthal
A 3D-printed model of a Neanderthal man stands at the stand of FIT AG during a media presentation at the international fairs FabCon 3.D and Rapid.Tech, Germany. VOA

Life as a Neanderthal was no picnic, but a new analysis says it was no more dangerous than what our own species faced in ancient times.

That challenges what the authors call the prevailing view of our evolutionary cousins, that they lived risky, stressful lives. Some studies have suggested they had high injury rates, which have been blamed on things like social violence, attacks by carnivores, a hunting style that required getting close to large prey, and the hazards of extensive travel in environments full of snow and ice.

While it’s true that their lives were probably riskier than those of people in today’s industrial societies, the vastly different living conditions of those two groups mean comparing them isn’t really appropriate, said Katerina Harvati of the University of Tuebingen in Germany.

Neanderthal model
Neanderthal model. Reconstruction of a Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis) based on the La Chapelle-aux-Saints fossils. Neanderthals inhabited Europe and western Asia between 230,000 and 29,000 years ago. They did not use complex tools but had mastery of fire and built shelters. It is thought that they had language and a complex social structure, living in small family groups and hunting for food. It is not known why Neanderthals became extinct, but one theory is that they were outcompeted by modern humans (Homo sapiens). Reconstruction by Elisabeth Daynes of the Daynes Studio, Paris, France.

A better question is whether Neanderthals faced more danger than our species did when we shared similar environments and comparable lifestyles of mobile hunter-gatherers, she and study co-authors say in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature.

To study that, they focused on skull injuries. They reviewed prior studies of fossils from western Eurasia that ranged from about 80,000 to 20,000 years old. In all they assessed data on 295 skull samples from 114 individual Neanderthals, and 541 skull samples from 90 individuals of our own species, Homo sapiens.

Injury rates turned out to be about the same in both species.

Also Read: Neanderthal Genes Helped Early Humans Beings to Fight Flu, Hepatits

That questions the idea that the behavior of Neanderthals created particularly high levels of danger, Marta Mirazon Lahr of Cambridge University wrote in an accompanying commentary.

But the new study is not the final word on Neanderthal trauma, she wrote. It didn’t include injuries other than to the skull. And scientists still have plenty of work to do in seeking the likely cause of injuries and evidence of care for the injured, which could give insights into the behavior of both Neanderthals and ancient members of our species, she wrote. (VOA)