Thursday, June 2, 2016

Jason goes to SFIFF--Day 14

The penultimate night, and just one film. I needed a little sleep before the big final party.

UNLOCKING THE CAGE is a fascinating documentary about animal rights. And not just in the philosophical, activist sense. In the legal sense, as in establishing some notion of legal "personhood" for at least some types of animals, and giving them legal rights. Steven Wise is a lawyer, and his clients are all animals. He's the council for the Non-Human Rights Project, and his cases are all (so far) about chimps being kept in captivity in inhumane conditions. Which seems like something that could be argued on an animal welfare basis, but he's specifically pushing for it to be about animal rights. The distinction is important...at least to him. And leads to a fascinating, well-made documentary that raises some really interesting questions about where you draw the line on autonomy. Although to be clear, his goal isn't to set these chimps free entirely (they wouldn't survive in the wild) but to get them into a much better sanctuary than the roadside attractions they're kept in now. So even then, there is some limit to the freedoms they'd have.

Running Time: 91 minutes
My Total Minutes: 429,092
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