With all the cat pictures floating around the Internet, it isn't too hard to understand why a documentary about cats is so appealing to audiences. But director Ceyda Torun's film, KEDI, focuses on more than just the cute and fluffy nature of our feline friends -- it focuses on their personality.
KEDI takes us on a journey to Istanbul, where a plethora of cats live, roaming the streets. Seven cats hold the rapt attention of the camera: Sari used to be lazy all day, until she had kittens -- now she makes the rounds, soliciting food to bring back to her children. Then there's Aslan Parçasi, who decided to help a restaurant with its rat problem, and more than pays his keep. Duman is the gentleman, frequenting the nearby deli but never entering -- he just paws at the window when he wants food. Then there's Bengü, the lover; and Deniz, the social butterfly; and Gamsiz, the tough-guy player; and Psikopat, who, true to her name, reigns over her husband-cat more than a little jealously.
As many interviewees throughout the film are so quick to say, these cats are just like people. Different mannerisms, preferences, stubborn streaks, and self-designated purposes make these cats just as human-like as anyone. But it is also, says one Istanbul resident, "like being friends with aliens" -- there is an inability to communicate, and a difference in societal expectations and culture, but there is still a certain closeness and special feeling that people get around cats.
The film slips into a political stance here and there -- some of the interviewees speculate about what will become of the cats when they build the main road through their home -- but for the most part, the focus is all on the cats: their personalities, their symbolism, and their meaning to humankind.
This is a fascinating documentary, which will hold your attention right to the very last minute. KEDI is now playing at Midtown Cinema! Don't miss this feline-tastic film!