UNLOCKING THE CAGE is a documentary that follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his battle against an ineffective animal welfare system in an attempt to transform animal rights into legal protections. Legendary filmmakers D.A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus discuss Steven Wise, the rights of Chimpanzees and the three main subjects of their films. Pennebaker and Hegedus also discuss the impact Robert Redford, documentary films and Sundance have had on the film industry in this Sundance edition of BYOD hosted by Ondi Timoner.
FILM & GUEST BIO:
Renowned filmmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus follow determined animal rights activist Steven Wise into the courtroom for an unprecedented battle that seeks to utilize the writ of habeas corpus to expand legal “personhood” to include certain animals. Wise’s unusual plaintiffs—chimpanzees Tommy and Kiko, once famed showbiz stars—are now living in filth, struggling to survive. Wise and his impassioned legal team take us into the field, revealing gripping evidence of such abuse and plunging us into the intricacies of their case as they probe preconceived notions of what it means to be a non-human animal.
D A Pennebaker is regarded as one of the pioneers of cinéma vérité filmmaking. In 1959 he joined Drew Associated, where he produced the revolutionary Living Camera series and develop one of the first fully portable 16mm synchronized camera/soundrigs. His classics, Don’t Look Back and Monterey Pop, defined the rock-film genre. Pennebaker is the recipient of an Academy Honorary Award.
Chris Hegedus has been directing, shooting, and editing films for four decades. In 2002 she was awarded the prestigious DGA Award for Startup.com. Along with D A Pennebaker, she directed the 1992 Academy Award–nominated film The War Room. Her other films include two-time Emmy Award–winning film Elaine Stritch at Liberty, The Energy War, Town Bloody Hall, Moon Over Broadway, Depeche Mode 101, and Kings of Pastry.
BYOD Full Episodes Playlist:
BYOD Short Clips Playlist:
00:01 Welcoming D.A Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus to BYOD.
00:35 Steven Wise & Human rights for animals.
03:18 Studying chimpanzees.
04:10 UNLOCKING THE CAGE Clip, communication.
04:29 Caging chimpanzees + animal law
06:44 Chimpanzee research videos.
07:48 Chimpanzee memory recall.
09:08 Animals Steve argues for.
12:10 Animals and the internet.
13:15 Sundance, documentary filmmaking & Robert Redford.
15:51 Creating films today.
17:03 Death & film.
19:18 Thank you and goodbye.