Present Tense directed by Belmin Söylemez (Turkey 2012) gives a glimpse of present day Istanbul. Mina is a young woman adrift in the city, dreaming of escaping to America. When other job prospects fail she applies to become a fortuneteller in a café. She has no professional experience at reading coffee cups but is hired on a trial basis by Tayfun, the handsome café owner.
Mina is attractive but reserved, however over time she and Fazi, the more assertive and experienced reader, become friends and share some of the problems each of them faces. Her perceptive interpretations of the coffee grounds frequently reveal the emotional difficulties of the women who come to her. And as she continues with her job, changing Turkish liras for American dollars regularly, the readings for her clients mirror her own circumstance.
This film won the New Directors Prize. The director will attend its final screening at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas this week as the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival wraps up. See San Francisco Film Society for more information and tickets.
copyright © 2013 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved