It is 1975 in Istanbul. Kemal, from one of the city's wealthiest families, is about to become engaged to Sibel, daughter of another prominent family, when he meets Füsun, a beautiful shop girl and a distant relation. A rift opens between Kemal and Westernized Istanbul - a world of opulent parties and society gossip infused with the melancholy of decay - until finally he breaks off his engagement to Sibel. For eight years Kemal will find excuses to visit another Istanbul, that of the impoverished backstreets where Füsun, her heart now hardened, lives with her parents, and where Kemal discovers middle-class life at a dinner table in front of the television. His obsessive love also takes him to the demimonde of Istanbul film circles where he promises to make Füsun a star - a scene of seedy bars and run-down cheap hotels. Kemal becomes a compulsive collector of objects that chronicle his afflicted heart's reactions - anger and impatience, remorse and humiliation and daydreams that transform Istanbul into a cityscape of signs of his beloved, from whom now he can extract only meaningful glances and stolen kisses in cars, movie houses, and shadowy corners of parks. Kemal discovers that all he finally can possess is the museum he has created of his collection, this map of a society's manners and mores, and of one man's broken heart.