Movie Review: Welcome To Leith gets up close and impersonal on a white-supremacist takeover

In documentary filmmaking, confrontation scenes are often the Holy Grail: It’s one thing to get talking heads calmly recalling conflict, but it’s far more compelling to catch conflict live and electric, as it happens. On that count, Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker’s documentary Welcome To Leith is documentary gold. After reading a New York Times article about an infamous white-supremacist shit-stirrer who was out to turn the tiny North Dakota town of Leith into a white haven run by simpatico racists, Nichols and Walker made several trips to Leith, and their cameras capture plenty of hate-mongering and aggression on both sides. But their live footage of city council shout-downs and building-burnings don’t tell enough of the story: They capture the emotion, but not enough of the context around it.

Leith is stretching the definition of a town. As Mayor Ryan Schock describes it, it …

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