The enchanting Turkish documentary Kedi works triple time as a nature documentary, a travelogue, and a meditation on the human-animal bond. Director Ceyda Torun makes a case for Istanbul as the new Rome for stray cats. When she isn't soliciting the thoughts of caretakers and observers, her cinematographer, Charlie Wuppermann, shoots the furry subjects from ground level such that they fill the screen while humans fade into the background. These street-smart cats congregate around teahouses and markets for treats and back rubs. Torun follows several around town, like the orange tabby that steals food for her kittens, the gray tabby that sleeps in an auto shop, and the black-and-white cat that chases mice from a restaurant. She exalts these hardy creatures while portraying Istanbul as a city of compassionate citizens. It's a side of Turkey we don't see often enough.

by Kathy Fennessy
Showtimes & Tickets
Ceyda Torun

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