Contribute Now
Independent Lens | Welcome to Leith | History & Documentary | WMHT
  • Click to contribute to WMHT
  • Click to make/update a sustaining contribution to WMHT
  • Click to join the WMHT e-news mailing list

Independent Lens | Welcome to Leith

Posted by WMHT Web Editor on

Watch Monday, April 4, 2016 at midnight on WMHT TV

Welcome to Leith chronicles the attempted takeover of a small town in North Dakota by notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb. As his behavior becomes more threatening, tensions soar and residents desperately look for ways to expel their unwanted neighbor. An unsettling exploration of what happens to democratic principles when they’re pushed to the limit, the film asks us to consider how in a free society we confront people whose views we find abhorrent.

Leith, a 90 minute drive from the nearest city (Bismarck) is home to around 20 people, mostly farmers and ranchers living on a prairie backdrop of sky and wheat. In 2012, an outsider moved in and started buying up property. Residents initially welcomed him, figuring he’d moved to be closer to the oil fields, but Craig Cobb had other motives. Posting on white nationalist forums that he’d found the perfect place to start an all-white enclave, Cobb implored other white supremacists to move to Leith and help take over the town’s government.

Meanwhile, far from the prairies of North Dakota, Ryan Lenz, an investigator from Montgomery, Alabama’s Southern Poverty Law Center, discovers Cobb’s posts and informs Leith’s mayor, Ryan Schock. Schock, a young rancher and family man who has lived in Leith all his life, is stunned by the news — and the ensuing media firestorm as tensions in Leith threaten to boil over into violence.

As the community rallies to save their town from strangers intent on taking it over, Welcome to Leith details the clash between the locals and Craig Cobb’s band of white supremacists as they challenge his vision for the future of the place they call home.

Learn the story of how Theodore Roosevelt became our nation’s 26th president.

New York NOW: Education & History

Exclusive: Andrew Cuomo discusses 2010 redemption

Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed to a rare sit-down television interview for the upcoming WMHT film on his father titled "Governor Mario Cuomo: Poetry and Prose."

POV Documentary Blog

The Documentary Box Office Fizzle of 2016

The soft year at the box office may set the trend for the future theatrical life of all documentaries.