50 Years of SIFF: Kedi


Turkey | 2016 | 79 min. | Ceyda Torun

March 3 - 10, 2024

50 Years of SIFF

Meet the most beloved residents of Istanbul: cats! For thousands of years these furry feline friends have had free rein over the streets and homes of this ancient metropolis, where the people revere them as spiritual creatures that bring joy and purpose. DAN DOODY CHOICE.

Seattle International Film Festival 2016 selection.

“For the beauty and majesty that is Istanbul...said only one person ever. To quote Andrew Lloyd Webber, 'it's about cats,' and this documentary brilliantly illustrates how humans and cats have evolved to live in near-perfect symbiosis even if neither species has been fully successful in their efforts to domesticate the other.”--Dan Doody, Seattle International Film Festival Programmer

According to Islamic tradition, one morning the Prophet Muhammad awoke to the adhan, the Muslim call to prayers, only to discover his favorite cat, Muezza, asleep on the sleeve of his prayer robe. Rather than disturb the animal, the prophet cut away the sleeve of his robe, establishing an affinity and great love for felines throughout the Islamic world. And perhaps nowhere is this relationship between humans and cats more beautifully displayed than in the city of Istanbul, captured brilliantly by filmmaker Ceyda Torun in her debut documentary, KEDI. As one (human) resident pronounces, “In Istanbul, the cat is more than a cat. The cat embodies the indescribable chaos, the culture, and the uniqueness that is Istanbul.” Hundreds of thousands of cats roam its streets; some have traditional homes, others do not, but all are cherished by Istanbulites. Torun’s camera follows a few of the city’s more notable feline residents on their adventures, while also conversing with the humans who interact with them on a daily basis—in the process revealing the heartwarming stories of devotion, companionship, and in some cases even personal salvation that have arisen between the two species.

  • Director: Ceyda Torun
  • Principal Cast: Street Cats of Istanbul
  • Country: Turkey, USA, Germany
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 79 min.
  • Producer: Ceyda Torun, Charlie Wuppermann
  • Screenplay: Ceyda Torun
  • Cinematographers: Charlie Wuppermann, Alp Korfali
  • Editors: Mo Stoebe
  • Music: Kira Fontana
  • Language: Turkish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes