Thursday, July 27, 2017

'Kedi' Will Entrance Cat Lovers

For many centuries, Istanbul has been a cat city.  Through history, these cats have witnessed how the city changed hands between empires, how it shrunk and grew.  They have roamed freely, masterless but regularly cared for by admirers.  Apparently, this has always been the case.

The Turkish documentary film Kedi shows the impact of these street cats on the daily lives of the people of Istanbul in the present.  It centers on seven particular cats – Sari, Duman, Bengü, Aslan Parçasi, Gamsiz, Psikopat, and Deniz – who have managed to bring delight and provoke reflection to those they have chosen to interact with.
If what’s shown in this documentary is authentic and natural, then Istanbul must be the best place in the world for cats, as its stray cats seem to be the healthiest, cleanest, happiest stray cats in the world, while the people are so gracious and caring – or, at least, extremely tolerant and friendly – to them.

Being a cat person all of my life, I’ve always found cats to be adorable and hilarious.  Thus, Kedi mightily appealed to me.  The footage constantly made me go, “Awwww.”  Thanks to the fantastic camera work, which includes really effective “street level” shots, the feline cuteness and antics are wonderfully exhibited, with the Mediterranean atmosphere of Istanbul serving as an alluring, cozy background.
On the other hand, I never really cared much for the people being interviewed, though their musings – especially when they attempt to interpret the behavior of the cats they are being interviewed about – enhanced my enjoyment.  Sometimes, they’re somewhat insightful.  Sometimes, they’re pretentious.  Either way, I found that there’s amusement to be had from their offered thoughts.

In the end, Kedi isn’t for everyone.  Some may even get bored by it.  But for cat lovers, the beautiful cinematography, the innate charm of cats, and the even pacing will work together to entrance like visual catnip.

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