Hundreds of thousands of Turkish cats roam the metropolis of Istanbul freely. For thousands of years they’ve wandered in and out of people’s lives, becoming an essential part of the communities that make the city so rich. Claiming no owners, the cats of Istanbul live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame — and they bring joy and purpose to those people they choose to adopt. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to the people, allowing them to reflect on their lives in ways nothing else could.
Critics and internet cats agree — this cat documentary will charm its way into your heart and home as you fall in love with the cats in Istanbul. (official synopsis courtesy and (c) kedi.film)
It’s one of the accepted axioms of life that you are either a dog or a cat person; some people, admittedly are both, but by and large fall into one of those two camps and never the twain, nor whisker, shall meet.
But I would argue that even if you’re not necessarily not a cat person, and I will admit I fall most firmly into that camp having had cats as pets all my life, that there is something to love about Kedi,a film by Ceyda Torun that showcases not just the free-spirited, far-roaming cats of Istanbul but also the people who care for them, all of whom find something special in their fellow citizens of the streets.
It is this focus on the interwoven lives of cats and people that makes the film so emotionally-captivating and insightful, notes the the review on RogerEbert.com:
“The focus is on the cats, but “Kedi” is really a portrait of community. Torun gives a sense of life in Istanbul, its diversity and beauty, its storefronts and waterfronts, its people. Why there are so many cats in Istanbul, and how they all came to be there, is not explained (except for a casual comment from an interview subject).
“It can be a heartless world. Caring for one another and caring for animals may seem like a small thing, but Torun’s affectionate portrait of these cats—and the people who love them—makes it seem like the most important thing in the world. A restaurant owner keeps a tip jar on the counter, and the money goes into a fund for vet visits for the cats who hang around outside. Imagine that. Torun combines her up-close-and-personal footage of the cats with transcendent drone shots of Istanbul in all its moods and weather.”