Film shows when Vice Lords gang tried to go legit and failed

"Lord Thing" shows a period where the Vice Lords leaders tried to reform the gang to help the community and why the effort failed when the leadership left. (Chicago Film Archives / via DNAinfo)

WASHINGTON PARK — The Washington Park Arts Incubator is screening on Oct. 18 a rarely seen documentary about what happened when Chicago’s most violent gang tried to go legit in the 1960s.

“Lord Thing” is an inside view of the Conservative Vice Lords, a sect of the Vice Lords gang in North Lawndale that tried to transform itself into a force to help the community.

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Documentary filmmaker DeWitt Beall’s portrait of the gang was screened in Europe, but went largely unseen in the United States and Chicago until the Chicago Film Archives restored the film in 2014.

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