Lord Thing

Street gangs are one of the nation’s greatest scourges but also one of its greatest shames—imagine a life so bereft of opportunity that you’d take a bullet defending your nonexistent ownership of a street corner. But Lord Thing, a bold 1970 documentary recently restored by the Chicago Film Archives, revisits a period when the Conservative Vice Lords, one of Chicago’s oldest and largest gangs, aspired to something better, launching numerous initiatives to empower people in the Lawndale neighborhood. The movie also serves as a bitter reminder that state power vastly outweighs the influence of any street gang, and that no criminal organization hoping to legitimize itself can ever escape its violent past. (Just ask Michael Corleone.) Continue reading >>