If you ever have the chance to travel to Istanbul, you’ll immediately notice one major difference from any other place in the world. The city is filled cats. They roam freely, taken care of by the local community. Living on the cusp of wild and tame, some of the cats have been adopted by residents, but that’s only for a short time. The people can’t really tame these free spirits, but their presence has been embraced by the residents for as long as they can remember. Kedi explores the lives of some of these cats, and the impact they actually make on the lives of the people around them.

Kedi is essentially 80 minutes of cats running through a city, being fed delicious treats, raising their own babies, and occasionally getting into a scuffle. The camera chases behind them, low to the ground, giving us a cats eye view of Istanbul. Over these shots, we can hear some of the locals talk about the specific cat we may be watching, as the 7 cats featured in the film have people who watch over them. They don’t own them, as you can quickly tell from their cat adventures, but they’ve become the people who have cared for them when they needed it.

Unless you’re not a cat person, that’s all you’ll need to enjoy Kedi. Who couldn’t use 80 minutes of cats getting pampered in a gorgeous city like Istanbul. There is plenty more going on within this film though, if you feel like you need more than 7 cute cat stories to carry you through. The film shows viewers just how important these cats have become to the people who take care of them. At some times, the fact that these cats exist in a person’s life is enough to save them from a life they weren’t happy with at all. It says a lot about human nature when it comes to caring for animals, but at the same time, it sheds light on the fact that we would never do the same for people.

Kedi doesn’t try to point that out, and it may be a bit of a pessimistic viewpoint to get hung up on the fact that if these 7 cats were homeless people, the chances of getting the same kind of love and respect would be minimal, but by showing the love these animals get, we’re forced to think about the love some people are lacking. This is a feel good movie, and rightfully so. You’ll immediately fall in love with these cats, and the theatre will be filled with quiet “Awwww’s” from viewers. Just try to take away from the movie that we need to take this opinion, care, and concern for animals and transfer it to everybody around us, not just the furry, four legged friends who brighten our days.

Is Kedi opening weekend worthy?

It’s impossible to resist the lure of the cute cats presented in the film, but if you can take anything away from this film, it’s that we need to treat other people as well as these furry friends are treated.

Kedi opens Friday, February 17, 2017 at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Check their website for more information.

Kedi Trailer