Cat lovers, rejoice! KEDi, a new documentary by filmmaker Ceyda Torun explores the lives of the myriad of cats who live on the streets of Istanbul.
“In this sumptuously-shot documentary tribute to the street cats of Istanbul, the people of the city warmly reflect on these collective pets who are neither stray nor domestic, and the role that they play in the life of the dynamic megalopolis,” the program for the film reads. “A movie of enormous, playful charm, with keen insights into this rapidly changing city trying to hang on to its felines, and its soul. Cat lovers, meet the best movie you will ever see.”
And indeed, the film was captivating. Between gorgeous aerial shots of Istanbul (which really made me want to vist) and all the humorous stories from cat lovers around the city, the film is 80 minutes well spent. Not to mention the cinematography used to capture close-ups of the cats make you feel like you can just reach out and pet them!
Despite all the civil unrest in Turkey, Ceyda Torun felt compelled to tell this special story for a few reasons. As a kid, her best friends were the cats who wandered the streets. She felt like she owed them something, making this film a love letter to both the cats of Istanbul as well as the city itself. “I wish someone would have made this movie when I was a kid,” she says.
Now living outside of Turkey, Torun notices the difference in attitudes toward strays those in Istanbul have from those living in the United States and Europe. “In Istanbul, cats have been around for thousands of years,” Torun says, citing the port city’s historic significance when it came to trade routes, such as the Silk Road. Because of this, cats from all over - of all different breeds and colors - came to reside in Istanbul.
“Istanbul can’t be put into one ethnicity. It’s the original melting pot,” Torun says. “Cats are the same way.”
“Cats operate on a fundamental level where they don’t judge or have prejudice. They’re more pure and honest in their interactions,” she says. “We can benefit from being less judgmental about each other. If we can learn to get to know the people we’re living with instead of judging right away, we’d get along better.”
So while this film is mainly about cats, there are some valuable lessons people can take away from it.
KEDi opens in New York on February 10th at the Metrograph Theater and in other places around the globe within the next couple months.
Top Image via Pixabay
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