Director and illustrator Javier Rodríguez (AKA El Niño Rodríguez) found a cassette in a flea market in Argentina, one that was once used on an answering machines. On it, he found a treasure: ten messages that a woman, Maria Teresa, left for her supposed lover, Enrique. In the messages, Maria Teresa is nervous, impatient, she needs to talk to Enrique desperately, until in the last message we hear an answer on the tape: her beloved finally picks up the phone and talks to her.
The director decided to make a short film version of these conversations that summarize a love story. It was what he called: Not a Single Word of Love. The Story of Enrique and María Teresa. In the short, actress Andrea Carballo masterfully performs the voice of Maria Teresa looking at camera as if it was her Enrique.
This quirky short film from 2012, created a stir in Argentina. So much so, that the daily Clarín located the real Maria Teresa and her lover Enrique, who are still together today at the age of 75. Enrique told the newspaper that the cassette dates back to 98 (although it looks much older), when the couple separated temporarily. In an interview with Maria Teresa, she commented about the short: “How strange is it to be famous and known. In this story, a private conversation sparks people’s imagination. With this, all our friends and family who recognized us started calling. Then we started to feel strange and I gave minimal responses. I could not tell the whole story because it is long”.
The film actually tells about a small episode in a 30 year marriage: “You’d think it was a love drama but it had other connotations, financial problems … still it’s more interesting for women because there must be a lot of us who are in these situations. I gave him a hard blow, but I needed him to come back. I always say that if Campanella comes and asks me about the story, we’ll make a movie right away”.
María Teresa loved the video; it seemed to her that the actress played her very well, although she claimed to have a much stronger character, as shown in the voice during all the messages. In all but one, and that is exactly when Enrique answers: she changes her attitude: “At that time I was anxious because I had to deal with an emergency and had decided to throw him out; but it was not what I wanted. These are ambivalences that women also have, that explain the change in tone when he answers. I did not change it because I was a silly person; on the contrary, I changed it because you know what has to be done to keep him from running away. If I had continued in the same tone, he would not have come. The remedy is knowing when to change the tone of your voice when asking; you always try to achieve a goal”.
The truth is that Not a Single Word of Love. The Story of Enrique and María Teresa, is an exciting and addictive love story precisely because of the truth it transmits, which takes your breath away.