Thousands of cats roam freely in Istanbul.

They wander in and out of people’s lives, choosing humans who respect and love them.

 

 

They have been part of the life of the residents of Istanbul for hundreds of years and are an integral part of daily life, bringing joy to those they choose.

First time feature filmmaker, Turkish born Ceyda Torum, and her cinematographer husband Charlie Wuppermann, give us a cat’s eye walk on the backstreets of Istanbul in their delightful film Kedi – a tour of the city that tourists usually do not see.

 

We meet seven street cats selected from thousands, each with its own personality and routine, and admire their ability to survive in such a densely populated city.

These cats are far from feral – they are sleek and well fed. The unique attitude of local residents allows them to share space everywhere – they inhabit café benches, doorways, markets, stairwells, car hoods, boats, houses and cardboard boxes, coming and going as they please.

 

This is a beautifully made documentary edited from 180 hours of footage. It was made in a two-month shoot, much of it  from a remote controlled camera filming the cats at street level as they walk between the legs of people going about their daily activities. Music from Kira Fontana together with well-chosen records adds to the fun.

Cat lovers will be smitten with this film, showing long close-ups of cats and kittens and aerial views looking down on rooftops. I found myself looking for cats in every shot.

 

 

“Dogs think people are God, but cats don’t. Cats know that people act as a middleman to God’s will. They’re not ungrateful. They just know better.”

80 minutes.

Showing at Luna Leederville and Luna SX Fremantle from 22 June.

Watch the trailer…

 

 

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