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Do You Have Your Popcorn?

By Lisa Rainwater


Unlocking the Cage “made me proud to be a primate.”

~ Jon Stewart

Have you ever had one of those days when you can’t contain your excitement?

Well, you’re not alone. We’re going through the same thing at the Nonhuman Rights Project!

Today marks the HBO premiere of Unlocking the Cage—a new documentary that follows NhRP President Steven M. Wise and our legal team over the course of four years as we seek to secure fundamental rights for our four chimpanzee clients Tommy, Leo & Hercules, and Kiko in New York State (you can check here for local broadcast times and also view it on HBO GO and HBO NOW).

“’Unlocking the Cage’ is energized by the sense of recording an early chapter in a long history. Some of Mr. Wise’s positions may seem radically counterintuitive. How can a being without human language or human culture have standing to seek redress from human institutions? But it is also possible that practices and attitudes now widely taken as natural will look arbitrary and cruel to future generations, and that the future will arrive sooner than many of us expect. It wouldn’t be the first time.” ~ A. O. Scott, The New York Times

Unlocking the Cage, directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Chris Hegedus and Academy Award recipient D. A. Pennebaker, first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and has been shown across the globe to much acclaim. And tonight it will air in America!

So …

We hope you’ll make some popcorn tonight, invite a few friends and loved ones over, and settle in for an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at who we are and how we are fighting to secure fundamental rights for such nonhuman animals as great apes, elephants, whales, and dolphins. And, if you love taking selfies, how about taking one while watching the flick and tagging us with #UnlockingTheCage and @NonhumanRights?

The outpouring of support we’ve already received from those who’ve seen the film has been so encouraging that we are kicking into high gear in 2017!

NhRP Home Page
Just a little hint of our new website!

Here are just a few of the things we have in the works …

  • On March 16th we will present oral argument in Tommy’s and Kiko’s cases at the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department.
  • Our new action-oriented website will launch in March. 
  • We are in the final stages of preparing a lawsuit to secure legal rights for elephants.
  • We are building a nationwide grassroots movement aimed at helping us free our clients from captivity.
  • We are organizing public screenings of Unlocking the Cage across the country.

We need you now more than ever! Here’s how you can be a part of our NhRP family:

  • Sign up for our eNews to receive action alerts and breaking news
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Share our posts on social media
  • Save the Date: March 16 is a Nonhuman Rights Day of Action in NYC. We’ll share more details in the coming days!
  • Visit our new website in March and take action on our new campaign!


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