NETFLIX — Imagine you live in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. You’re trucking along, doing your thing, enjoying your tiny community of roughly 20, and then Craig Cobb moves in next door. At first you don’t notice anything overtly negative, until Cobb starts buying and selling land… to white supremacists!
There goes the neighborhood!
Cobb’s plan? To gentrify the already mostly white North Dakotan town of Leith into a white power paradise! Rolling in and buying up land overnight for dirt cheap, he quickly gained a following among many of the supremacist elite. By the time the regular Leith townsfolk knew what was going on, the situation was already beyond their control. Ill-equipped and behind the eight ball, now the people of Leith must fight tooth-and-nail to drive these cretins from their home… but it won’t be easy.
WELCOME TO LEITH is an incredible look at how people filled with hate can manipulate the law to their advantage. It also shows how extremists (of any ideology) will use antics to illicit reactions that they may then use to their advantage in the court of law.
At several points during this documentary I could feel my blood beginning to boil due to the helplessness expressed by many of the citizens of Leith. Some were forced to take up arms to protect their families… others were pushed into the unenviable position of potential martyr in order to defend their home and principles. Perhaps the worst instance of this is during a court room scene where Cobb marches around trying to insight the rage of a father who had lost his daughter a few years before. Cobb’s blatant disregard for human decency in mocking her death was tough to stomach. As a father, I give credit to that man for not losing his temper in that moment–as I’m sure no one would have blamed him… except for the court.
WELCOME TO LEITH has a shorter runtime, moves quickly, and does a great job giving audiences an embedded view of the entire situation from both sides of the story. It’s not sexy in anyway. It’s merely a doc that exposes the ugly truth of what happened in Leith, and leaves it there for viewers to decide on their own if the people involved were right or wrong.
If you’ve yet to see WELCOME TO LEITH, I would highly recommend checking it out–especially for parents whom have yet to truly explain to their kids the concepts of racism and hatred. These are important lessons to impart on children so that someday we may hopefully stamp this terrible ideology out of existence.