Director: Ceyda Turon
Rating: Unrated (equivalent to a PG for brief language and brief animal peril.)
Running Time: 78 Minutes
Release Date: February 10, 2017
Termite Films and Oscilloscope.
Kedi was seen as part of the 42nd Seattle International Film Festival.
OUR CAPSULE REVIEW:
Istanbul, Turkey has long been regarded as the hub of Turkish culture and documentary Kedi brings to the screen one of the more unique and distinctive traits of a city that saw nearly 13 million tourists in 2015.
Istanbul has cats. Like lots of them. Director Ceyda Torun‘s debut film settles into the role of part-travelogue, part-news story, and part-cat lover’s dream of seeing 78 minutes of cats interacting with tourists, Istanbulites, and freely roaming the city at will.
Literally, there are thousands upon thousands of cats living in every nook and cranny of the city. They co-exist with their human counterparts and it is no shock whatsoever to see cats hop up and join you at your table at an outdoor cafe, brush up against you while you are standing around, or hop into your lap. The film depicts a world where all of this is seemingly okay and there is something satisfying in seeing a movie just embrace the curiosity of its subject and run with it.
There is no great insight here. We do not get a history of Istanbul, nor do we have veterinarians, animal experts, or any other talking heads breaking down how cats have become so immersed in Turkish culture. Torun finds a few cats to track, a few nice people to circle back with again and again, and gives us a unique and engaging film to occupy the time.
Though too long for what it is, Kedi could have been terrific as a documentary short film. However, for those cat lovers who simply cannot get enough of watching cats exist free and clear in the world, there is something liberating to the viewer with all of this, and Torun captures it. Seeing this back at the 2016 Seattle International Film Festival, it was staggering the number of people turned away from the festival screenings. Turns out, we love our feline companions and Kedi pays them a fitting tribute on the big screen.