Directed by Karen Winther
85 min | 2018 | Norway/Germany/Sweden | Not Rated
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 believed is wrong, are able to gather the courage to embark on extraordinary journeys to turn their lives around.
Winner: Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize–2018 DOK Leipzig; Official Selection: 2018 CPH:DOX, 2018 DOC NYC