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"Kedi" captures intimate relationships between cats and humans

"Kedi" follows the relationships of seven stray cats living in Istanbul and the relationships those cats have with the people living around them. Much of the film is shot at the same height as the cats, showing the beauty of Istanbul from a cat’s perspective. There are close up shots of the cats’ eyes and ears, and just as those who live with these animals on a daily basis claim, viewers begin to see each cat’s individual personalities throughout the movie. 

For a few of these cats, it is clear by their affectionate natures why they are adored by their communities. Deniz, a white tabby, regularly interacts and receives attention from vendors at the organic market where he lives. Bengü, a brown tabby, lives in a loud, industrial manufacturing neighborhood and cuddles with the men who work there. 

Other cats are aggressive, like Sari who will do anything to care for her kittens or Aslan Parçası who hunts mice near a restaurant by the shore. Though the cats are less affectionate, their bold personalities are adored and respected by the people who live around them. 

This film also explores how the people in Istanbul care for these cats that they adore so much. Gamsız, a black and white short-hair, is cared for by his entire neighborhood, but especially by a baker. Whenever Gamsız gets injured or sick, the baker uses the tips he has earned as well as donations he receives from neighbors to pay for a veterinarian. A woman in another neighborhood cooks 20 pounds of chicken per day to feed cats that she sees in the street. She believes that the work she does for the cats in her neighborhood helped her overcome her depression, and continues to feed the cats she sees everyday.

This film also provides gorgeous, sweeping landscape shots of the city of Istanbul and the Mediterranean sea. These shots divide storylines of the cats, and in addition provide context to the place which cultivates such cherished relationships between human and feline. 

The film delightfully captures the lives of the cats and their relationships with Istanbul and the people living there. However, because there are so many cats to follow, their personalities and histories are not always fully developed. Regardless, the care from the people who live by them is clear in every case. 

Kedi will be shown at E Street Cinema today, Feb. 24. 

Grade: A-

eholmes@theeagleonline.com


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