Istanbul Street-Cat Documentary ‘Kedi’ Gets Two Paws Up From Cat Fans

New film sheds positive light on cats in Turkey’s capital and the people who help them.

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Gamsiz, The Player, is one of seven street cats profiled in "Kedi." Via Oscilloscope Laboratories/YouTube
Anastasia Thrift

The documentary “Kedi,” about a seven cats who live on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey, debuted over the weekend and the reviews are almost universally positive. The director’s approach, with her human and feline subjects alike, struck a chord that seems to warm people to the film.

“I didn’t want to include anything pessimistic; it’s not an activist film,” Ceyda Torun told Vulture. “But it was a way to highlight our shared humanity, and an appreciation of an aspect of life that goes beyond language, beyond religion, beyond anything.”

The cast of cats don’t hurt the film, either. All seven seem to have distinct personalities, and monikers to go with them: the Hustler, the Lover, the Psycho, the Social Butterfly, the Hunter, the Gentleman and the Player. The director gets down to the cats’ point of view and gives viewers a look at the world from their eyes.

The cats have a community of people helping them. One scene shows people pooling their money to pay for a street cat’s vet fees. Others show shopkeepers looking out for the cats who frequent their stores.

The uplifting feeling reviewers are writing about could come from the lack of conflict in the film; everyone Torun talks to loves cats. That happened, she said, because the folks who didn’t like cats didn’t want to discuss them at all.

“There are, of course, people who are openly anti-cats, but they also happen to be people who are anti-people,” Torun told the news outlet. “We had a really hard time trying to get people to talk to us if they didn’t like cats.”

Seems like the best people around the world are the ones who love pets. We’ll be putting this on our must-see list.

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