Kedi (2016)

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“Remarkable. A splendidly graceful and quietly magical documentary”


A smash hit at the 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival, Kedi tells the story of Istanbul and the feline residents who have roamed her streets and rooftops for millennia.

An essential part of the cityscape, these cats claim no owners, yet they have an intricate and deeply felt relationship with the people who intersect with their lives on a daily basis. Shot in amongst the seaside cafes, homes, bustling markets and quiet laneways, Kedi (which means cat in Turkish) introduces viewers to some of the city’s most charismatic residents, including the aristocratic gentleman Duman who lives near an upmarket deli and Deniz, the energetic social butterfly who loves to cause trouble and keep the humans of Feriköy Organic Market on their toes. As the camera traverses the city, each new cat offers a window into the ebb and flow of this ancient metropolis.

Ceyda Torun’s charming debut offers a magical insight into her hometown, unpacking the history of the city and its complex future, in the face of modernisation and radical urbanisation.

In an open letter to the audience, the director says, “everyone who grows up in Istanbul or lives in Istanbul has a story about a cat. Stories that are memorable; sometimes scary, sometimes spiritual, but always very personal. When we set out to make this film, I had many ideas about what it should be. I wanted to explore philosophical themes that would make an audience ponder about our relationship to cats, to nature, to each other...”