Istanbul has a special relationship with the cats that live in it. There are the cats who live with people and those that just live next to them. But there are always people who find themselves taking care of cats – and through taking care of them, also taking care of themselves.
Kedi is a beautiful and very sweet documentary, especially but not exclusively for people who like cats (or pets in general). It’s touching and funny and filled with cats – and that is simply a good time.
Torun captures cats and humans in their interactions with each other, but also cats on their own. And she has an eye for both capturing the cats’ personalities in a very charming way and for showing the humor in their interactions. It’s simply entertaining to watch those cats.
But that’s not all the film offers. There are also interviews with different people who take care of cats in different ways. Some have classic pet-owner relationships, but there is more than one person here who simply feeds the semi-feral cats in the streets. Because that’s what you do. You take care of the cats as they are part of the community. And taking care of the cats is also good for them.
At times those interviews got a little too spiritual for my taste. I don’t think there’s anything otherworldly about cats and there is no particular spirituality that they have. I think love is a very worldly thing and that’s what it ultimately boils down to for me: caring and loving for someone without expecting to get anything in return – which makes it so much better when you do get something back after all. But that may start to sound spiritual as well.
In any case, I really loved watching Kedi, despite a couple of lengths here and there, and not just because I have cats myself – although that certainly didn’t hurt. It’s a beautiful and surprising film.
Summarizing: More than just cats.