If you belong to things like Cool Fun Cat Group on Facebook like I do, you’ll love this light look at the cats of Instanbul. Free-ranging across the city, they have no defined abodes besides those they adopt for themselves, and their personalities are likewise allowed to flourish. Kedi introduces a bunch of lovable felines, described with loving admiration by the humans that dote on them, and dares anyone that’s not Gareth Morgan to sigh and smile their way through the film.
One of my “pet” peeves in animal docos is the unnecessary anthropomorphising of their subjects, ascribing them human thoughts in order to shape the film’s narrative. There’s no shortage of rumination on the inner lives of cats in Kedi, but it is both rewarding and in service of the film’s purpose that it comes from the citizens of Istanbul who take an interest in the cats of the title. The seven cats depicted here remain inscrutable in the face of human speculation, like cats have done throughout time, as they go about eliciting sighs of happiness from the doco’s audience.
Easy-going in mood and pacing, Kedi patiently follows a variety of felines through their routines, seemingly living very charmed lives in a city that prides itself on taking care of its cats. They may not play up to the cameras (unless you subscribe to the view that cats own us, rather than the other way round), instead it is left to the people in their lives to unintentionally reveal aspects of themselves as they talk about their relationships to these furry friends.