Here’s an absorbing cat’s-eye view of the colours, textures and pace of modern Istanbul. Cats have long been a cultural and often ceremonial mainstay in many parts of the world. In this particular city, the self-reliant animals have lived freely since before the Ottoman Empire. Yet, their existence is deeply intertwined with the lives of their human counterparts, who see themselves as guardians, rather than owners, of their four-legged friends.
The word ‘kedi’ literally translates as ‘cat,’ and in Turkish culture it’s understood that caring for these animals is a social and religious obligation. Ceyda Torun’s delectable film uses specially crafted camera rigs, and an extreme measure of observational patience, to capture all of the hard-to-reach places where cats go. There’s an estimated ratio of one-cat-per-person in Istanbul and, if Kedi is any indication, not one has ever gone unloved. However, Turkish cats are faced with the same problems of gentrification and loss of green space that most major cities’ inhabitants are experiencing.
If the majestic whiskers don’t inspire curiosity about this ancient Eurasian city, the beauty of the cityscapes and the remarkable photography will!
– Vancouver International Film Festival