Synopsis by Mark Deming
Filmmaker Chris Marker combines two of his long-time passions, felines and Leftist politics, in this documentary essay film. Veteran filmmaker Marker is a devoted cat lover, with a number of tabbies of his own, so when the city of Paris repeatedly fell victim to a graffiti artist spray-painting grinning kitties all over town, Marker became curious and began to investigate. The cat graffiti started to appear not long after the September 11 attacks in New York City, which provoked new anxieties about international terrorism, but it wasn't long before solidarity with America gave way to protests over the War in Iraq and its consequences. Suddenly the image of the grinning cat was embraced by anti-war activists, who attached it to the slogan "Make cats, not war!" But as the smiling kitty became all the more pervasive in Paris, Marker was left to ponder if the cat's new political agenda was a symbol of genuine commitment or merely an example of fashion fusing with the events of the day. Chats Perchés (aka The Case of the Grinning Cat received its North American premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.
activism, anti-war, cat, graffiti, solidarity, terrorism