Kedi (2016)

A Turkish documentary about the many cats (nominally stray) that inhabit Istanbul. The film mainly covers seven cats, focusing on their distinct personalities and the humans that interact with them the most.

There’s plenty of direct interview and voiceover with these people, but often the film simply follows the cats themselves, an impressive specially-constructed filming rig enabling “Kedi” to follow the cats on their level down on the street.

There’s plenty of meat in how and why the humans interact with the cats the way they do – therapeutic elements, moral elements, religious and spiritual elements, even feminist elements. Most people project some kind of narrative or greater framework onto the cats and their lives (usually finding caring for them redemptive and therapeutic, or couching the cats in terms of folklore or relation to the divine), but they all share great respect for the freedom of the cats, and so too does the film take care not to intellectualise or anthropomorphise the experience too much. The greatest joys of the film come simply from observing the cats themselves and the stunning city they live in.


A beautiful film with beautiful subjects. Four kittens and a saucer of milk.


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