As Karl Marx puts it, the heroine, Mina, is a soldier of the «reserve army of labor». Unemployed, homeless, divorced and estranged from her family, she dreams of emigrating to the U.S. She lives in an evicted building that will be demolished due to gentrification. In order to save money, she finds an odd job that pays well: reading coffee cups at a café in the lively and eccentric Beyoglu district of Istanbul. Mina is not a fortuneteller, but every time she expresses her own feelings through the coffee cups, her customers – all of them women – immediately identify with her!
PRESENT TENSE is a blend of melancholy, wit, humor and joy of life – reflected in the expressionistic use of color and space throughout the film. Each in their own respect, its characters reflect something of Istanbul and its many conflicts.
Belmin Söylemez (b. 1966) is a Turkish director based in Istanbul, where she is a member of Filmist, an independent collective of filmmakers. She has worked as a copywriter, editor and producer in media and television, and directed several award-winning shorts and documentaries. PRESENT TENSE is her first fiction feature film.