FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
An utterly charming film that has much more going on under the hood.
If you frequent YouTube, you’ll understand that cat videos are damn popular. As a society, we just can’t get enough of the furry fellas.
At first glance, documentary Kedi appears to be nothing more than a super long video of cats frolicking in Turkey’s Istanbul; a city teeming with homeless moggies. And whilst the ‘aaw’ factor is nothing to be sniffed at, Kedi is certainly a lot more than that.
Through the eyes of several felines we get to meet the humans of Istanbul; all from various walks of life. Fish mongers, café owners, and boutique staff, they all share a common love for the strays that roam the streets and into their hearts. Admittedly, that sentence was deliberately trite, but Kedi is genuinely filled to bursting point with tales of Istanbul’s residents taking these cats in as their own or, at the very least, sharing ownership with others on their street.
Director Ceyda Torun, who grew up in Istanbul, throws up gorgeous backdrops of the city that are as diverse as the people she interviews, who share the city’s philosophy and history. As a result, a real sense of community and identity bristles throughout, with Kedi’s bipedal subjects extolling the virtues of their city whilst holding their prized ‘pets’ up on an even higher pedestal. To them, the cats are the very life blood of the city. ‘Without cats,’ one resident says, ‘the world loses part of its soul.’
The shadow of gentrification looms over Kedi, with designer apartments and new roads threatening to crush local business underfoot. However, those effected seem more concerned for the creatures they take in, such as the stall owner who interrupts his interview so he can hightail a critically injured kitten to the vet. If you don’t want your heart warmed, then you’re advised to stay away. Otherwise, this is an utterly charming film that has much more going on under the hood.