WANDERLUST: THE LIVES OF ISTANBUL’S CATS IN KEDI

A Love Letter To The Cats And The City They Roam

By Erin Kirkpatrick

Unlike most dogs, cats are perfectly content ignoring owners or leaving a room just as someone has entered with the sole purpose of showing them affection. I’ve been that person, whether the cat meant it or not, who took it personally and agonized over what I did wrong.

My point is that cats are fine, and sometimes, more comfortable being free agents (in your house or in your neighborhood). In Istanbul, stray cats have embraced the free agent lifestyle and hundreds of thousands of them now roam the streets.

Director/Producer Ceyda Torun’s documentary Kedi gives us a “snapshot” into the daily lives of Istanbul’s cats by sharing the story of seven of them – Sari, the hustler; Bengu, the lover; Psikopat, the psycho; Deniz, the social butterfly; Aslan Parcasi, the hunter; Duman, the gentleman; Gamsiz, the player.

Kedi Film. Sari the cat

The cats of Istanbul have solidified their place in the lives of citizens and become an essential part of the city’s rich communities. So as much as the film tells the wanderlust stories of its seven feline stars, it also tells the stories of humans who’ve been touched by their presence.

While these felines have no claiming owners and “live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame,” many have chosen to adopt certain people into their lives. Mutual respect, self-reflection, and an awareness of the need for independence have allowed these relationships to thrive for decades.

Torun, who grew up in Istanbul, credits the cats of Istanbul for making a substantial impact in her own life. “I believe my childhood was infinitely less lonesome than it would have been if it werenʼt for cats – and I wouldnʼt 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,” she said in her Letter to the Audience.

Kedi film poster

It’s beautiful how big an impact these cats have had on both the city and its people.

“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,” said Torun.

If you’re interested in seeing Kedi, screening dates are available all across United States and Canada until May 19th. Make sure to watch the trailer, and learn more about this documentary by visiting Kedi.com.