New Series AMERICAN FRINGE Explores Controversial and Polarizing Subcultures, Premieres July 9
White supremacists. Anti-gay churchgoers. Freedom- loving misfits. Gun-toting "hillbillies." Across all 50 states, there are provocative groups of Americans with unorthodox beliefs that do more than just raise eyebrows; they push the limits of our judicial system. Often challenged for their beliefs, many of these individuals and groups have chosen to remain outside of the limelight, shying away from the media attention ... until now.
Gaining unprecedented access and employing dramatic storytelling, National Geographic Channel (@NatGeoChannel) pushes boundaries with a thrilling, in-depth look at some of the country's most controversial subcultures in American Fringe - a six-part series premiering Wednesday, July 9, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and follow us on Twitter at @NGC_PR.
In the series premiere, American Fringe follows a notorious white supremacist's mission to transform a small rural community in North Dakota into a full-blown "Nazi Town." Throughout the season, each episode focuses on a different community, ranging from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., to a relatively unknown group of squatters living "lawlessly" among the ruins of an abandoned military base in Southern California. Their routines and practices may seem offensive or absurd to the general public, but their problems can be strikingly similar to our own - family, freedom and prosperity all come into play.
Using an immersive documentary style, American Fringe chronicles the lives of people who function outside the boundaries of modern society. Insider-access footage, combined with candid first-person interviews from community members and their non-supporters alike, offer viewers a 360-degree perspective of the polarizing debates that surrounds each of these unconventional groups. The result is captivating television that doesn't pull any punches.
Premiere episodes include:
American Fringe: Nazi Town Premieres Wednesday, July 9, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT In the small town of Leith, N.D., a peaceful community is turned upside down when notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb arrives to claim domain of Leith and provide sanctuary for what he hopes will be an influx of like-minded white supremacists. With land in Leith being abundant and cheap, Cobb has already bought 12 plots, and neo-Nazis have begun to arrive. Tensions rise when its residents, refusing to stand idly by, go on the offensive against Cobb's Nazi incursion. With the ethicality of the townspeople's actions on the line, and Cobb's First Amendment rights in question, the community fears Cobb will make Leith his permanent residence. That is, until Cobb's temper gets the best of him. The dramatic showdown unfolds after Cobb and a friend "patrol" the town brandishing loaded weapons and screaming derogatory slurs at its residents - an act that lands both of them in jail on seven counts of terrorism.
American Fringe: Church of Hate Premieres Wednesday, July 16, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT American Fringe crosses the picket lines to explore the dogma, hierarchy and corrosive message of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) during a pivotal transition in the parish's history. For more than 50 years, Fred Phelps spearheaded the WBC's crusade against homosexuality and its infamous "God Hates Fags" message. While filming, Phelps passed away and our cameras were there to document members of this church as they grapple with the loss of their incendiary leader and the rise of the heir apparent. Steve Drain, a relatively recent convert to the church, denies taking the reins, but appears to be the next in line to lead the church. With the future of the church in question, in-depth interviews with Drain and other members of the organization allude to the church's continued and strengthened commitment to preach their homophobic message. NGC also interviews ex-communicated members and leaders of the Equality House, a civil rights organization headquartered in a rainbow-painted house located directly across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church.