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Synopsis

When she was a teenager, filmmaker Karen Winther was a member of an extreme far-right movement in Norway.  In 1996, when she was 17, she finally managed to leave and start a new life.  In EXIT, she now parallels her own past with the experiences of other former extremists, in an effort to learn what makes someone join neo-Nazis, Jihadists or other hate groups, and what makes them decide to leave.
 
Winther introduces us to Angela from the United States who spent over ten years as part of a violent right-wing group.  After the Oklahoma City bombing, she had a wakeup call and decided to get out. We also meet Ingo and Manuel from Germany and a former jihadist in France. And in Denmark, we witness the other side of the spectrum when former left-wing extremist Søren shares the story of his life. Through these intimate conversations with those who made the leap to abandon their radical movements, Winther looks at the ways people enter these worlds as well as the threats they face when they attempt to leave them behind. 
 
With far right-extremism spreading throughout the United States and around the world, EXIT is a personal and urgent examination of the ways radicalized people legitimize hatred and how some, when confronted with the realization that everything they once firmly believed is wrong, are able to gather the courage to embark on extraordinary journeys to turn their lives around.

 

EXIT in the Press

“An immensely valuable work for anyone wanting to understand the mindset of extremism and the possibility of rehabilitation.” – CBS News

ONE OF NINE MUST-SEE FILMS AT DOC NYC! "EXIT includes that rarely seen perspective of women in a world and movement we largely associate with angry men. A sober look at an urgent and relevant topic, finding parallels between what is happening in Europe and U.S."- INDIEWIRE

"This film excels in showing the humanity behind the extremism. The faults, the pain, the blind anger and how it’s easy to get involved with a group that simplifies those emotions into "us versus them." - Blacklisted

"EXIT draws a complex and nuanced picture of extremism and the way out - daring to lay bare the grim face of violence."
- Modern Times Review

 

 

Filmmaker Biography

Karen Winther was born in Norway in 1978 and graduated from the NFTS, National Film and Television School in 2012. Her first feature was her graduation film at NFTS, THE BETRAYAL, a personal film about her involvement in extremist groups in Norway in her teenage years. The film premiered at IDFA and received several awards. In her second feature EXIT, Karen continues to explore violent extremism from a personal angle and what can make extremists change. EXIT premiered at CPH DOX in 2018 and received a Special Mention at the Nordic Docs festival.
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