Present Tense | Chicago Reader

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110 minutes · 2013

Broke, unemployed, and struggling to get a visa that will allow her to study in the U.S., a young woman in Istanbul takes a job as a fortune teller to make ends meet. There's not much more than that to the plot of Belmin Soylemez's debut feature, which is more interested in depicting downtime and feelings of displacement than in telling a story. To sustain interest over the course of a entire feature, this sort of filmmaking requires either a vivid poetic sensibility or a precise sense of everyday drudgery. Soylemez achieves both, but only intermittently—for the most part, the images seem to evaporate even as you watch them. In Turkish with subtitles.

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