Kedi film review and thoughts from a cat lover

If you like cats, you will like Kedi. Kedi (Turkish for cat) film is a documentary about seven cats living on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. The beauty of the city is shown in breath-taking panoramic views and music is well incorporated into the film. The cinematography is excellent making it enjoyable for any cat lover.

Istanbul is known for the free-roaming cats as cats have been in the city for hundreds of years. Many people care for them or provide food.

There appeared to be many open-air restaurants and markets that cats can visit. The cats obtain food by asking, begging, stealing, or being given it from customers and vendors.

These are community cats with names (and nicknames) and a primary caretaker. As the caretakers describe the cats you get the sense of how much they love them.

Each cat has its own story and personality, reminding me of the cats in the book Shop Cats of New York (affiliate link). The cats benefit from humans and humans benefit from the cats.

Sari featured in KEDI

As the camera follows the cats around you get a sense of their territories and interactions with humans and other cats. The mom cats provide for their kittens. Cats are visible on rooftops. Other cats keep the mouse and rat population down at restaurants, proving their usefulness. The humans that have named the cats look forward to seeing them each day.

The cats and their stories are interesting and there (as you might expect) some funny moments. Near the end changes to the city, such as the building of more modern buildings, are mentioned. These changes may negatively impact the free-roaming cats as space for them is reduced. Perhaps because of this revelation, the movie felt a bit long as if the creators were unsure of how to bring it to close.

Thoughts I had after watching the film:

I wondered if all cats are treated so well. Are cats not as well fed in poorer sections of Istanbul? We only see the lives of seven of the acts living in the city. All cats have a story. What about other cats that are not as well looked after?

There are likely at least some people in the city that do not like cats, but do they still respect the cats?

Is there any effort to spay and neuter the free-roaming cats in Istanbul? Kittens are in the movie but no one seemed to mention or discuss spaying or neutering cats to limit the number of free-roaming cats.

Instanbul from KEDI
Istanbul view in KEDI

I was not able to determine with Internet searching if there are animal shelters in Istanbul similar to shelters in America. Or is the culture so different in Istanbul with so many people caring for the free-roaming cats that shelters are not needed? (Veterinarians are mentioned several times during the movie).

And then I speculated on cat life in America. What if more people were accepting of free-roaming (community cats) and helped them out? Would fewer cats be killed in shelters due to a lack of space/funding?

Things to know before you see Kedi Film:

  • The movie is presented in Turkish with English subtitles.
  • There is not an overwhelming about of reading.
  • Be sure to check with the location for all viewing times as the Kedi Film site only lists the date of the first showing.

Have you seen Kedi film? What did you think of it?

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Heidi Bender is the writer and founder of the Joy of Cats. She enjoys sharing cat information and providing helpful cat tips. She considers herself a cat lady and currently cares for eight cats.

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