Turkish director Ceyda Torun’s slender documentary spends 80 minutes with Istanbul’s street cats. There is Sari, a lanky ginger cat that mews her way into apartments, slinking around for scraps to feed her kittens; Bengü, a needy brown tabby with enormous green eyes; Duman, a plump, picky eater who feasts on smoked turkey and speciality cheese. The cats are captured with adoring attentiveness, their intelligent eyes narrowing to slits, their darting movements, a patch of sun-warmed fur, the way one kitten clambers a market stall to paw a pile of oranges. However, the film goes for more than mere cuteness (and cute it is, with its jaunty, twinkly score). Torun is interested in both the spiritual and the practical relationship the animals have with the community that comes into daily contact with them, looking at gentrification, pest control, everyday companionship, and the idea that a cat can absorb a human’s excess energy.
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