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Exit: Leaving Extremism Behind
A film by Karen Winther
Norway/Germany/Sweden, 2018, 85 minutes, Color, DVD, English/Norwegian/French/German/Danish, Subtitled
Order No. W191236

EXIT is a personal and urgent look at the ways people legitimize hatred and the threats they face when they attempt to leave their radicalized worlds behind. Paralleling her own past as part of a violent right-wing organization with the experiences of other former extremists, filmmaker Karen Winther explores 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 US and Ingo and Manuel from Germany, all ex-right-wing extremists who made the leap to abandon their movement and now must live isolated lives in hiding. In Denmark, we witness the other side of the spectrum when former violent left-wing extremist Søren shares the story of his life. Winther also travels to France to meet a French former jihadist. Through these intimate conversations, Winther examines how and why some radicalized people, when confronted with the realisation that everything they once firmly believed is wrong, gather the courage to embark on extraordinary journeys to turn their lives around.


Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, DOK Leipzig
Young Eyes Film Award, DOK Leipzig
Gedanken-Aufschluss Prize, DOK Leipzig

  • DOK Leipzig
  • UNAFF - United Nations Association Film Festival
  • Love & Anarchy: Helsinki International Film Festival
  • Nordisk Panorama Malmö
  • International Documentary Festival Visioni dal mondo, Immagini dalla realtà
  • Dokufest IDF Prizren
  • Oslo Pix
  • Nordic Docs

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

    "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."

    "One of the 15 essential documentaries of 2018"

    "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

    "A kind of rough edged masterpiece. At a time when it seemed that the world was growing darker, the film reminded me that people can change and it provided a little light."
    Unseen Films

    "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."

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us