For the Daughter’s birthday recently, her mother and I took her and her friend to the Spectrum Theatre to see the documentary Kedi. From the description:
“Hundreds of thousands of cats roam the streets of Istanbul, free, without a human master, as they have for thousands of years. They wander in and out of people’s lives, affecting them in ways only an animal who lives between the worlds of the wild and the tamed can… Cats are such an important part of the city’s personality that everyone who grows up in Istanbul or lives there has a story about a cat—stories that are memorable, sometimes scary, sometimes spiritual, but always very personal. Istanbul-born director Ceyda Torun, in her debut, has created a heartfelt love letter to both cats and the beautiful city of Istanbul…”
Watching this movie, one can gets all philosophical about life. Should cats be owned? (And as someone with two cats, one doubts that they CAN be.)
What is abundantly clear is that taking care of the cats and their kittens bring joy and even healing to those people of Istanbul who are in their lives. These humans more aware of life and their place in it than the average American. “Cats are the mirrors to ourselves.”
The citizens fret that with greater number of sterile highways and high-rises, the very nature of the city will be irreparably altered for the worse, not just for the felines but for the people as well. An apartment-dwelling cats using a litter box are nothing like the street cats.
The director wrote: “I grew up in Istanbul and I believe my childhood was infinitely less lonesome than it would have been if it weren’t for cats – and I wouldn’t be the person I am today. They were my friends and confidants and I missed their presence in all the other cities I ever lived in. This film is, in many ways, a love letter to those cats and the city, both of which are changing in ways that are unpredictable.”
It works in achieving its modest goals. Here’s the trailer.