Starring: Sari, Bengü, Aslan Parcasi
Director: Ceyda Torun
Running Time: 79 mins
Kedi is a Turkish documentary about the Istanbul and its thousands of stray cats, which give unique life to the city and deep meaning to its inhabitants.
A unique documentary that not only gives an elegant and touching portrait of a city but also an intimate account of its people and culture, Kedi is an undeniably pleasant watch. Admittedly, it isn’t quite the hypnotically touching tale that it often wants to be, but at moments, the film does hit home on a surprising level.
First things first, I’ve never been a cat lover. Cats are fine, but dog movies have always been the ones to tug at my heartstrings. If you are a cat lover, however, then Kedi will surely hit all the right beats for you.
Focusing deeply on the intimate yet mysteriously fleeting human-feline relationship, the film is more than just a pleasant portrait of the secret life of cats, rather a genuinely touching portrayal of what they bring to humans and their city.
Through a series of interviews with Istanbul residents who have developed a bond with stray cats, we learn just how much of an impact they can have on someone’s life, from brightening someone’s day to even reigniting someone’s passion for life in their darkest hour.
Those moments, where the film really doubles down and shows you the emotional importance of the cats to the people of Istanbul, are without doubt Kedi’s strongest.
Yet where the film doesn’t quite hit home is in delivering that blend of emotional resonance and hypnotically relaxing minimalist style all the way through.
Though its slow pace, touching themes and intimate depth give it the potential, Kedi isn’t on the same level as the likes of Samsara, or any other documentary that hypnotises you with understated style and incredible emotional depth.
As a result, there are moments when this film does grow a little dull, failing to capture its strongest emotional depth on a consistent basis. However, saying that, Kedi is still a touching, pleasant, and above all intimate tale of cats and the people whose lives they change. So, that’s why I’m giving it 7.1 overall.