Thousands of miles from the Edinburgh district glorified in Sunshine on Leith, its North Dakotan namesake has a much gloomier outlook. In 2012 prominent Neo Nazi Craig Cobb moved to the tiny, sparsely populated town with the intention of building a white supremacist community. Inspired by a 2013 NY Times article, filmmakers Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker travelled to Leith to witness Cobb’s efforts themselves.
Their chilling documentary captures the dramatic escalation of tensions as Cobb’s actions drive a wedge through a close-knit community. Winning near-universal acclaim from critics, Welcome to Leith is commonly described as a horror film (the LA Times called it “the scariest film of the year”) for its terrifying magnification of all-too-real terrors. But Nichols and Walker’s tone throughout is far from hysterical and they approach the fascinating material with commendable detachment and rigour.