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