Ceyda Torun’s Kedi is a joyful and well-made documentary, but one that’s also kind of pointless.
Her thesis that cats are extraordinary creatures capable of fascinating things preaches to the feline-loving choir and, though it would do them the most good, it’s not a film the non-converted are likely to seek out.
Turning her lens to the multitude of stray cats that roam the streets of Istanbul, Torun focuses on a handful of standout creatures, following them as they procure food for kittens, reach upper floors of buildings by scaling trees and jumping on ledges and engage in the occasional territorial fight.
The Istanbul native’s camera is there to capture it all, frequently at animal-eye level and always with a steady hand. She applies this same visual consideration to mini chapters on a few devoted humans who feed and otherwise help the quadrupeds, and their interspecies love makes them just as remarkable, if not occasionally more so.
Obvious as these revelations may be, Kedi is still a movie about cats and the goodness they inspire in people, the combination of which is not a bad way to spend a little over an hour.
In addition to the brisk run time, it’s also a slice of entertainment the whole family can enjoy together. Despite rampant subtitles, much may be inferred by the images alone, perhaps even inspiring creative post-film, intergenerational discussions of each’s interpretation of the film.
Grade: B. Not rated but suitable for all ages. Playing at Grail Moviehouse
(Photo: Oscilloscope Laboratories)