Here's the story, in a nutshell: in 2011, Argentine Santiago Barrios bought an answering machine at a Buenos Aires flea market. Inside the machine was a cassette tape containing 12 messages, eight of which had been left 15 years ago by a distraught woman (María Teresa) trying to get in touch with her estranged partner (Enrique). A friend of Santiago edited the tape and posted it online, until comic book artist Javier Rodríguez ("El Niño Rodríguez") decided to make a film about it, starring Andrea Carballo (pictured above). The resulting video was shown at international film festivals and finally posted online on August 1, where it became a viral hit with more than 50,000 views in the first 24 hours (about 500,000 after three weeks). Even Oscar-winning director Juan José Campanella (The Secret in Their Eyes) recommended it in his Twitter account.
“It was a detail-oriented role," Carballo, an Argentine actress who lives in Barcelona, Spain, told Argentina's Clarín daily newspaper. "It was all about learning how to breathe like her when leaving the messages."
Here it is, with English subtitles: Ni una palabra de amor (Not a Single Word of Love):
But wait, go to the next page for another surprise to the story.
Clarín found the real María Teresa Gelsi and Enrique... who are still married after 30 years.
(photo by Fabián Gastiarena)
It seems the poor Enrique couldn't call her because he had been driving an ambulance from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
"I can't believe these things are happening to me at 75," Enrique told Clarín about his sudden fame.
"I think one can overcome things," María Teresa told the newspaper. "Sometimes [a woman] chooses divorce because she wants the other person to be nice, good looking, hard-working, intelligent, good sex, but that's not [how it works]. You don't have all that in a marriage. When you do, it's an exception. And those are the great loves."