Kedi

Documentary Films | 2016 | 79 minutes

This film is part of the Best of SIFF 2016 series.

Stranger Says:

This documentary has lots of beautiful shots of the city of Istanbul, the gateway to the East and the gateway to the West. But the subject of the film is not the city itself but its street cats, which appear to be numerous and content with the ways of life their city provides. American street cats look wild, dirty, scrawny. These street cats look the same as domestic ones. And people love them, feed them, pamper them, and tranquilly endure their bad habits and uppity attitudes. One man says: “Dogs think people are God, but cats don’t. Cats are aware of God’s existence. Cats know that people act as middlemen to God’s will. They’re not ungrateful, they just know better.” Cat lovers cannot afford to miss this documentary. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

SIFF Says:

According to Islamic tradition, one morning the Prophet Muhammad awoke to the adhan, the Muslim call to prayers, only to discover his favorite cat, Muezza, asleep on the sleeve of his prayer robe. Rather than disturb the animal, the prophet cut away the sleeve of his robe, establishing an affinity and great love for felines throughout the Islamic world. And perhaps nowhere is this relationship between humans and cats more beautifully displayed than in the city of Istanbul, captured brilliantly by filmmaker Ceyda Torun in her debut documentary, KEDI. As one (human) resident pronounces, “In Istanbul, the cat is more than a cat. The cat embodies the indescribable chaos, the culture, and the uniqueness that is Istanbul.” Hundreds of thousands of cats roam its streets; some have traditional homes, others do not, but all are cherished by Istanbulites. Torun’s camera follows a few of the city’s more notable feline residents on their adventures, while also conversing with the humans who interact with them on a daily basis—in the process revealing the heartwarming stories of devotion, companionship, and in some cases even personal salvation that have arisen between the two species.

This documentary has lots of beautiful shots of the city of Istanbul, the gateway to the East and the gateway to the West. But the subject of the film is not the city itself but its street cats, which appear to be numerous and content with the ways of life their city provides. American street cats look wild, dirty, scrawny. These street cats look the same as domestic ones. And people love them, feed them, pamper them, and tranquilly endure their bad habits and uppity attitudes. One man says: “Dogs think people are God, but cats don’t. Cats are aware of God’s existence. Cats know that people act as middlemen to God’s will. They’re not ungrateful, they just know better.” Cat lovers cannot afford to miss this documentary. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
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Film Credits
Director
Ceyda Torun
Cast
Street Cats of Istanbul
Festivals
SIFF 2016