María Elena Walsh has passed away. Her poems, novels, stories, songs, essays and articles were enjoyed beyond the frontiers of her native Argentina.

I assume she never knew this. But, her children's song "Manuelita la tortuga" was a key ingredient in one of the most moving telenovela scenes I've ever encountered in my research.

In "La Vida Entera" written by Leonardo PadrónOlimpia Duque (Beatriz Valdés), is facing the worst and most lonely night of her life. Unexpectedly, it's her daughter Tata (Marisa Román) who puts her to bed, in an inversion of roles between a mother and daughter, who've had a difficult relationship throughout the telenovela. The scene was touching in the script. But the two actors  moved it up several notches by using their talent and deep knowledge of their characters. And, of course, thanks to María Elena Walsh's Manuelita la tortuga.


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