You probably haven’t heard of Kedi yet but this little film has taken Turkish and American cinemas by storm.
In this heartwarming and critically acclaimed documentary about the stray cats in Istanbul, director Ceyda Torun, takes audience members on an intimate journey most of us have never experienced. Kedi is not your typical stray feline documentary – it showcases seven street cats and their personalities alongside the running commentary of the humans who know and take care of them.
There are moments where the projection of the verbal accounts of the animals’ lives comes across a bit too human, but that is part of the charm and warmth of the film. It also fits the narrative that cats are a lot like people.
During the depiction of the seven stories, we learn the love between people and animals is strong and mighty. As Kedi unfolds, it becomes very clear that many have found personal peace, whether socially or politically, in taking care of street cats. Some people even envy the freedom these residents of Istanbul have.
While majority of its running time consists of enjoyable mini-narratives, inevitably there are some somber moments where we witness a kitten dying and talks of death and illnesses. Torun takes care in depicting these scenes in a respectful and compassionate matter without the need to be grotesque. Perhaps the saddest moment comes in the end as the people involved discuss the future of street cats and humans as their city grows rapidly.
The wide aerial shots of colourful Istanbul in contrast of the close up shots of the feline stars is spectacular and almost enchanting. Accompanying the beautiful cinematography is a charming score which can only be described as fitting for our feline friends.
Although Kedi was only released in limited cinemas in America – it quickly became the third highest grossing foreign language documentary of all time due to its sheer brilliance. As a result, YouTube RED has recently acquired the rights to distribute it internationally on their platform for members.
I rate Kedi 8 out of 10.
Kedi will also get a limited release in Australia at Luna Cinemas in Perth from the 22nd of June and nationally from June 15.