Welcome to Leith

Film, Documentaries
3 out of 5 stars
Welcome to Leith

A white supremacist plots to take over a remote town in this fascinating doc

The tiny town of Leith, North Dakota is remote and shabbily attractive in a bleak, muddy sort of way. In 2012, Aryan supremacist Craig Cobb decided this isolated hamlet would be the perfect setting to realise his vision of an all-white community (to be renamed Cobbtown), and set about purchasing cheap land in the area. This documentary tracks the reactions of local people to Cobb’s arrival, and how both sides took radical action to counter what they perceived as a threat.

What ‘Welcome to Leith’ does very well is dig deep and expose Cobb – and by extension the entire American neo-Nazi movement – as weak, confused and desperate, using a dying ideology as a way to feel less alone in the world. Directors Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K Walker fail to apply the same rigour to the local townsfolk, whose personalities never really come into focus, while the lack of incident leaves them straining to fill out the feature-length running time. But as a short sketch of a fading culture, this is fascinating.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Release date: Friday February 12 2016
Duration: 85 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K Walker

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I watched this documentary over the weekend on a rainy day. It tells the story of some far right white supremacists who start buying out a very small village in North Dakota to make it their base. It's really the story of how the locals cope (or don't cope, in some instances) with this takeover. It has some moments on screen with the far right, neo-nazi groups as well as the local villagers. 

It's quite an interesting (and rather scary) documentary and it's always shocking to see that people with such extremist views on white supremacy actually exist in this day and age. That said, I didn't feel the documentary taught or showed me anything particularly new and the storyboard on this was a bit weak (they give away a big spoiler of what's to come in about the first 20 seconds and it doesn't progress much further).

In short, this is worth a watch but don't expect it to blow your mind in terms of new content.