Istanbul is home to thousands of stray cats that freely roam the city’s streets, making homes in the city’s communities and building relationships with the city’s people. Kedi is a heart-warming documentary that brings to light the complex relationship between Istanbul and her feline friends. The film follows the day-to-day lives of seven of the city’s cats and the people who care for them. It focuses on the immense joy that the cats bring to the lives of their caregivers and the love they bestow upon the cats. Even though the cats are technically “strays,” coming and going as they please, they are still cared for.
As the film demonstrates, the people of Istanbul find joy, comfort, companionship and happiness in the presence of the cats. The people of Istanbul love and dote on the cats. They feed them, pamper them, provide them with veterinary care and give them shelter during the winter months. In return, the cats keep the rodents in check and seem to warm the city’s collective hearts. The films director/producer Ceyda Torun writes of growing up in a city occupied by felines: “I believe my childhood was infinitely less lonesome than it would have been if it weren’t for cats – and I wouldn’t be the person I am today. They were my friends and confidants and I missed their presence in all the other cities I ever lived in.”
As a lifelong cat lover, I found this film to be inspiring, touching and uplifting. As it gets harder and harder to remember that people can be kind in a troubled world, watching an entire movie about a city full of people who are kind to their kitty counterparts is refreshing. The film is sweet, hopeful, and full of kindness.