'Gringuito' ends up in the courts

Rappers have had many brushes with the law in the U.S., but not so often in Chile. Yet a rap scene from Chilean pic “Gringuito,” filmed in the Santiago General Cemetery, has wound up in the courts.

The so-called “Gringuito rap” is sung and danced by a group of boys on the steps of a sepulcher dating from the 19th century, when Chilean notables built themselves huge mausoleums to feel prosperous in the afterlife.

The film had been playing for two weeks when a great-granddaughter of Claudio Vicunia Guerrero, senator from 1879 to 1894, went to see the film — and realized that the scene had been shot at her previously resting-in-peace ancestor’s stately home.

Deeply shocked, her family presented an injunction demanding the elimination of the graveyard sequence, claiming it “desecrates the memory of those that repose there” and “makes vulnerable the psychic integrity of their relatives.”

The injunction also requested that the film be withdrawn from exhibition until a verdict was reached, but courts have allowed it to continue. Local support for director Sergio Castilla has been strong, and actress Geraldine Chaplin, who is Castilla’s sister-in-law, has also spoken in his defense.

As the trial approaches, the cemetery’s administrator — who OK’d the location shoot — is expected to explain that, in public graveyards, there is no private property.

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