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Love comes in all shapes and sizes, yet we only tend to focus on young love at the beginning of the relationship in most movies. In Diario a Tres Voces (Three Voices), director Otilia Portillo Padua documents the love stories of three women of different ages and generations. Through their respective stories, Padua weaves a loose narrative about idyllic, wistful memories of past loves.
Diario a Tres Voces (Three Voices)
Director: Otilia Portillo Padua
Release Date: March 8, 2013 (SXSW)
The documentary centers on three women in Mexico: the teenager Monserrat, a middle-aged divorcee Nora, and a 90 year old great-grandmother Aldegunda. Padua films them as they reflect on their past loves and discuss their current feelings about relationships. As each person reminisces about their shared heartaches, they oftentimes find themselves speaking highly of the memory, with each story becoming more poetic in nature.
Diario a Tres Voces is like a love letter to love from the perspective of three women in vastly different stages of their lives. At times, their stories sometimes parallel one another’s, despite no immediate direct link among the three. The poetic nature of nostalgia in the documentary helped move the flow of the documentary along despite the non-existence of a “narrative,” so to speak. Then again, the relaxed nature of Diario a Tres Voces and its lack of an introduction explaining why it was made help make the documentary and the women’s stories feel more natural.
The best way to describe Diario a Tres Voces is to liken it to three women reciting three different verses of the same poem. There’s a shared feeling of hope for the future, contentment for the present, and a nostalgic longing for the past. There’s a beauty in the documentary’s simplicity, one which anybody can appreciate.