A poetic look at the cats of Istanbul
Ceyda Torun’s charmingly poetic film about the multitudes of cats in her native city of Istanbul makes a nicely appointed addition to the tradition of the “city symphonies” genre of documentary. Kedi (the Turkish word for “cat”) is a kind of love letter to that city channeled through its hospitality toward its large, diverse and long-lived population of felines. Torun’s cinematographers (Alp Korfali and Charlie Wuppermann) show a sharp and affectionate eye for individual cats comporting themselves in a variety of urban settings. And the film as a whole has a rich sense of distinct individual character in its gallery of feline portraiture. The latter element is enhanced by the comments and remarks of the assorted city dwellers who show a keen appreciation of individual qualities in the cats who are, in effect, their friends and neighbors. As a result, Torun’s film also takes shape as a tribute to the cat-lovers of Istanbul.