SECTION U.S. Documentary Competition
RUN TIME 85 min
SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles
In September 2012, the tiny prairie town of Leith, North Dakota, saw its population of 24 grow by one. Trouble had come to town.
The newcomer was Craig Cobb, a notorious white supremacist. Quietly snapping up plots of land, he planned to take over the town government and establish Cobbsville, a haven for white separatists. In organizing a rally of supremacists and neo-Nazis and courting them to take up residence, Cobb does not endear himself to Leith. As his behavior becomes more threatening, tensions soar, and the residents desperately look for ways to expel their unwanted neighbor.
This chronicle of a rural community’s struggle for sovereignty amidst extremism quite cleverly maneuvers us into an uncomfortable confrontation with our own values. Like the residents, we feel our anger escalate, but as disturbing and hateful as his racist attitudes are, Cobb is afforded certain protections under the law. The unsettling underpinning of Welcome to Leith is how we wrestle with our democratic principles when they're pushed to the limit. —J.N.