Steven Escareno is an amateur film critic that writes about movies in his spare time.
9 / 10
- Cinematography was great, as it helps capture the environment and scope, in which these creatures live in.
- The overall direction of the film was nice.
- The theme of the film was articulated quite well, as it captures the relationship between humans and cats in Istanbul quite perfectly.
- The musical scoring was excellent, as it helps compliment the theme of the film.
- The night vision scene, with the one cat hunting for mice, was quite innovative and unique.
- Since the film doesn't seem to have a typical narrative that you'd find in most documentaries these days, it makes the movie feel a bit longer than it should, which is why the pacing feels incredibly slow; in spite it's short runtime.
Dogs look to people as if they're gods. Cats know better, and realize we're merely the middlemen of god himself.
"Kedi" is a documentary that explores the rich history and landscape of Istanbul, through the eyes of cats. The documentary is shot mostly from a third person perspective of these cats, with the occasional first person point of view coming into play. Throughout the film, we see various people give interviews about the various cats that run throughout their part of the city. Some talk about how much one cat, or more, have affected their lives, while others talk about how much they love caring for them.
It seems throughout this documentary, it's portrayed that all people of Istanbul have been affected by cats one way or another; whether they realize it or not. One man claims, after having a near death experience, that feeding strays gives his life a sense of purpose. While a restaurant owner, in another scene, recounts how a sophisticated cat often scratches his window, as he begs for food. And in another scene, a different restaurant owner talks about how one cat just showed up one day to solve his mouse problems.
Heck, one lady even talks about how her own cat talks back to her, whenever she tells her to leave. While each story for these cats are different, you get a sense that all these cats that are discussed in the film have their own unique personality that resonates on screen.
While the entire film isn't scripted, you still get a sense of how charismatic these majestic creatures are, and how they struggle to adapt with the evolving world surrounding them.
We even get a brief history lesson about cats, and how sailors used to use them keep away rats on their ships; hence why most countries have cats to this day. It's quite fascinating, and interesting to learn.
Satoshi Mark Noguchi and Colleen M. Lutz do a wonderful job on the musical scoring for this film, as it captures the themes of the movie quite nicely. Not only complimenting the story itself, but the overall theme of the film, as it captures the relationship between cats and humans on Istanbul.
While I wouldn't say this is the best nature documentary that I've ever seen, it's certainly one of the more interesting ones out there. The way the camera was used to capture these cats in their environment was amazing, as it gives you good sense of the world they survive in. I also loved how the Ceyda Torun (the director of "Kedi) used the camera, in one particular scene, that utilized night vision goggles, as it allowed us to see how one cat hunts for mice within the sewers.
Unlike most documentaries in the USA, there's no narrative to this film. Just random interviews with various people, as we find out how these cats have affected their lives one way or the other. Some are stories are interesting. while most of them are generic. Granted, the cats are cute to look at, but apart from that, there's really not much more to say about this documentary.
Sure, it's great seeing this captivating movie that captures the relationship of the people of Istanbul and the feline inhabitants, as Ceyda Torun definitely captures the heart of that theme perfectly.
Other than if you're just not a cat lover, or you don't care for documentaries in general, then "Kendi" should be worth checking out. Granted, the film does suffer from some minor pacing issues, as it tends to drag it's feet half the time. But other than that, it's actually an interesting movie to get into.
© 2017 Steven Escareno
Al Greenbaum from Europe on March 14, 2018:
I saw the film. Superb. Lovely cinematography and fascinating vignettes about cats and their influence on human beings. Highly recommended.
bsg on March 10, 2018:
I just want to correct a typo. The documentary is not called "Kendi", it is called "Kedi".
Steven Escareno (author) on March 16, 2017:
cool. hope you like it.
Al Greenbaum from Europe on March 16, 2017:
Looks like an interesting film. I'll check it out.