It's rare when "Rotten Tomatoes" gives a movie a 97% rating, particularly when it is a film about cats in Istanbul. And not any old moggies you would expect to frequent the homes of devoted cat owners.
These are feral cats roaming the streets without any human masters, fending for themselves, cared for and tolerated by city dwellers, and scrounging a living from scraps at markets, from dumpsters plus the odd tasty rat or stolen fish.
So why does such a film have charm and almost universal appeal?
Perhaps that 97% was skewed by the consideration that non-cat-lovers wouldn't have set foot in the cinema. And that this isn't merely a film about feral cats. It is a film of whimsy and humour, touching on human lives – their daily activities, their commerce in a bustling and flourishing city.
It showcases Turkish culture, philosophy and spirituality. It is about relationship and how the bonds which form between cats and humans help and heal those who pet and care for them.
They tell us how these cats absorb their stress, like walking, purring feline antidotes. Most talk of "love". Street cats they may be and often nuisances but still they are much loved and this documentary highlights some of the best of human behaviour.
Cat-appeal there is in plenty, but also the loveliness of humans.
Towards the end the film demonstrates that human lives are not dissimilar to the lives of these cats. We are free to roam, to determine our own destiny within the constraints of being dependent on the goodwill of the community. We are the beneficiaries of care and grace but we also experience tough times, and some of us seem to fare better than others whether randomly, through good fortune, or through adapting to circumstances better.
Kedi will warm your hearts, even if you aren't a crazy cat person. You will be taken on a cat's-eye journey through the streets of Istanbul, and that, dear viewer is a unique experience, and one to treasure – perhaps enough to approve of its 97% rating. ________________
Directed and Produced by Ceyda Torun
Starring Bülent Üstün
Music by Kira Fontana
Cinematography Alp Korfali, Charlie Wuppermann
Edited by Mo Stoebe
Running time 79 minutes