Monday, November 27, 2017

Kedi - A Self Proclaimed Love Letter to the Street Cats of Istanbul

Unrated 1h 19mm running time

Claiming no owners these animals live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame...and they bring purpose to those people they chose to adopt.
Confession time. I am a crazy cat person who has, with no complaints, allowed myself to be adopted by my furry, four legged friends. So flashback to earlier this year when I was at the theater and saw a trailer for a documentary about the street cats of Istanbul being made for the subscription service YouTube Red. I looked around wondering how many people were also thinking, "I will watch this movie".

Director Ceyda Torun spent her childhood in Istanbul and has described the street cats as her constant companions, playmates and friends. She felt she owed them a debt and decided to ignore the advice of "never working with children or animals" and make this documentary. It's literally a joyful and magical experience, certainly for cat lovers, but for everyone else too. As an ancient port city, Istanbul has collected cats who made their way off of arriving ships for centuries. Maybe for that reason, the city's residents have developed a unique and special relationship with the all too independent cats. We meet a series of residents who have bonded with individual cats and those who make daily trips to care for larger numbers. If you were to classify this as just watching cute cat antics for about an hour and half, you might have a loosing proposition for some audiences. Fortunately there is much more. From the music, the architecture, the people -everything has a whimsical but grounded feel.

If you're the target audience for Kedi, then I probably do not need to sell you on this much more. If not, give it a try anyway. You just might find it cat-tastic. Sorry, I had to work in at least one of those.