A tiny North Dakota town wakes to a nightmare when a notorious white supremacist moves in and tries to take over in this gripping portrait of conflicting notions of freedom in a community under siege.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
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When a stranger arrived in the tiny community of Leith, North Dakota (population 24) in summer 2012 and started buying up the dirt-cheap real estate, the welcoming locals had no idea of his chilling motive. The stranger was Craig Cobb, a notorious white supremacist, and his plan was to deed the land to like-minded individuals and create a voting bloc which would allow them to take control of the town, turning it into a haven for hate. Although they are alerted to Cobb’s intentions by anti-racist watchdog the Southern Poverty Law Center, there seems to be little the townfolk can do to stop this malignant, but entirely legal, takeover. As a portrait of a community under siege, Welcome to Leith is as compelling and terrifying as any fictional thriller, but also a cautionary tale of the true limits of freedom. — MM
“This chronicle of a rural community’s struggle for sovereignty amidst extremism quite cleverly maneuvers us into an uncomfortable confrontation with our own values… The unsettling underpinning of Welcome to Leith is how we wrestle with our democratic principles when they’re pushed to the limit.” — John Nein, Sundance Film Festival