Turkish film ‘Kedi’ highlights lives of Istanbul’s streetwise felines
A new film is dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of cats that call Istanbul home. (Shutterstock)
Istanbul is a city steeped in rich history and culture; the home of sultans, saints and - not least - hundreds of thousands of cats.
Which is why Ceyda Torun's "Kedi," a documentary that gives viewers a glimpse of the ancient city from the perspective of its four-legged inhabitants, is both a heart-warming and important contribution.
The film follows the lives of seven of the city's cats, including Bengu - "the lover", duman - "the gentleman" and Sari - "the hustler," as they navigate a city of endless sights, sounds and flavours.
"They say that cats know God exists," says a voice in the film's trailer.
"They know that we're only the middlemen".
While focussing on such small subjects, the 80-minute film encompasses a wide range of deeper questions about life, love and coexistence through the lives of the streetwise felines.
The film also features many Istanbul residents who recall stories and fond moments with their feline friends.
One man is shown describing a cat named Psikopat [Psychopath], whose fighting spirit and love of freedom is an inspiration.
Elsewhere in the film, street vendors whose shops are being forced to shut down are seen expressing their fears for the future of the area's cats once a new redevelopment project is completed.
Speaking on her film, Torun explained that she wanted to capture how cats are "mirrors to ourselves".
"Whatever misery they may have in their lives is no different than the misery we have as human beings," she told Jezebel.
Publications including the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times have sung the film's praises, with Variety describing it as a "splendidly graceful and quietly magical documentary".
'Kedi' is currently being premiered in the United States, a year after its initial Turkish release in 2016.