Kedi is a documentary that explores the ancient and beautiful city of Istanbul through the perspective of its felines and their owners.
It is said that pets, one way or another, resemble their owners. In this sense, having a cat as a pet can reveal many things about a person. Having a feline at home affects your emotions in a positive way, so it's frequent to see that most of their owners cherish their pets and display sincere love towards them. There's a documentary exploring the strong relationship between a cat and its owner in an exceptional way.
Kedi –which means "cat" in Turkish– is the vibrant portrait of a ancient city that survived and evolved into an accelerated existence. Istanbul is one of the biggest cities in Turkey, where one of the most important mosques of the world emerges from an ocean of buildings. In this architectonic blend of modernity and ancient cultures, hundreds of cats wander through dumpsters and abandoned buildings, while others are loved and spoiled by their owners.
For thousands of years, cats have accompanied human beings, to the point that they've become an essential part of human life. In Istanbul every citizen can narrate a memorable anecdote about cats and their experience with them. Some stories can be frightening, but in most of the cases, they're charmingly spiritual and thoughtful.
Film director Ceyda Torum, who was raised in the city, decided to create a meaningful and complex exploration of the relationship between humans, cats, and the city they live in. For more than two months, and with a special equipment to film these felines in any situation, the director patiently accompanies and observes half a dozen cats, all of them with different personalities and needs. The result is the portrayal of the particular personality of each cat.
Moreover, Kedi allows its viewers to appreciate their skilled and light movements, their natural curiosity, and both their tenderness and fierceness in their relationship with other beings. Their lives develop in different scenarios where they coexist with birds, dogs, and of course, humans. The film also depicts how felines adapt to different settings, without being completely wild nor docile, without demanding the love of their owners, and giving happiness as well as purpose to those who adopt them.
Torum interviews some of the people who interact with cats in the city while they reflect on their bond with them, the contribution they have done in their lives, and their thoughts and feelings towards them. Some of these reflections are direct and possess a beautiful simplicity. For example, one man states that "people who don't love animals are incapable of loving other people." Others give more spiritual and theological reflections: "Dogs think that humans are Gods, cats don't. They are conscious of the existence of a God. Cats know that people are the agents of God's will. They're not ungrateful, they're just more sensible."
The film depicts the urban setting of an ancient city erected between two seas, which has adapted to modern times. However, this is not a typical portrayal, for it is done through the feline perspective. It's impressive to see the contrast of nature, buildings, and amazing landscapes surrounded by mountains and blue beaches with the ancient neighborhoods, modern buildings, ports, and markets. In Kedi, we can appreciate how Istanbul's citizens see cats as the mirrors of people and the soul of the city.
Documentary films tell stories based on reality. If you're interested in this type of films don't miss The Documentary That Captures Monet’s Life Through His Letters.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards