In the city of Istanbul, there are more than just human inhabitants. There are also the stray domestic cats of the city who live free but have complicated relationships with the people themselves. This film follows a selection of individual cats as they live their own lives in Istanbul with their own distinctive personalities. However, with this vibrant population, is the reality of an ancient metropolis changing with the times that may have less of a place for them. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Without the cats, Istanbul would lose part of its soul"
"Kedi" (2016 release from Turkey; 80 min.) is a documentary about the thousands of stray cats (street cats) all over Istanbul. As the movie opens, we get a fabulous aerial view of the city, and then get to know a number of cats, starting with a female cat who is out hunting food on the streets, not for herself but as it turns out for her small kittens who are anxiously waiting her return. And that's just the start of this...
Couple of comments: if you don't care for cats, then by all means do yourself a favor and seek out another movie. If on the other hand you love cats, you are in for an absolutely delightful treat. Apparently as we learn in this film, Istanbul, itself a huge metropolis, is home to many street cats, and the city's population (at least for the most part) has taken upon itself to care for these cats, and to outright love them. The movie focuses on a handful of cats, all of them with their own personality (the "fish thief", the "carefree", the "flirt", etc.). A number of shots are filmed from the cat's perspective (i.e. close to ground level). Along the way, we get a fabulous look of what day-to-day life in Istanbul is like. At one point a woman comments "it is difficult for women to express their femininity in this country, but the cats do it so gracefully", a dig as to the social environment for women in Turkey, even in a cosmopolitan city like Istanbul. But in the end, it's all about the cats: they hunt, they play, they roam the streets, they fight, they climb, and along the way they steal your heart.
I had heard a glowing review of "Kedi" on NPR a week or two ago and when "Kedi" opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, I couldn't wait to see it. The Friday evening where I saw this at was PACKED, much to my surprise, and the audience absolutely LOVED the movie, laughing out loud many times throughout the movie. After the movie was over, I couldn't wait to get home, where I knew my beloved cat Mimic would be waiting for me ;-) If you love cats, you don't want to miss this, be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. "Kedi" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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