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An exploration into the motives and histories of individuals, including herself, who have exited the world of violent extremism.


Karen Winther


Karen Winther


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How can you belong to a group that believes firmly in an idea, and what makes you then suddenly change your mind? Director Karen Winther tried that herself, and now she is finding other previous violent extremists to hear their story about leaving the violent and extremist community behind. In Exit, the director Karen Winther goes sourcing for answers to the question: What was the 'wake-up call' - that made her and a group of previous violent extremists leave violence and extremism behind? Through intimate conversations with former violent extremists from Germany, France, Denmark, and the US she asks: What was it that made us alter the course of our lives? Karen, living in Norway, will meet Angela in the US and Manuel and Ingo in Germany, all of whom are living in hiding due to their dangerous pasts. She will also meet with Søren, who has a violent left-wing-extremist background. And she will meet David, a former jihadist, who participated in one of the first homegrown Islamist ... Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Eye-opener for me, showing problems faced wanting to cut oneself loose from extremist movements, regardless of left-wing or right-wing. Shows many sides of probems faced
9 February 2020 | by JvH48See all my reviews

Saw this at the Movies That Matter documentary film festival 2019 in The Hague (NL). Very informative. It was an eye opener for me, having never thought about it how problematic it could be to cut oneself loose from these movements. Left-wing or right-wing seems to make no difference. Only the constant fear to meet someone from the movement on the street, would haunt me. We hear that it happens, and that such meetings frequently turn out violently.

Another issue is that some actions that seemed logical and justified at the time, are now causing regret, when realizing the amount of pain it brought within the circles of victims and innocent bystanders.

Many sides of the problems faced are brought forward in this documentary. Also how important it is to have a safe place to hide and support from a close friend, for at least the time needed to create a distance. It is a real problem to find such a place and such a friend. Please note that you've lost all your former friends in the process after joining the movement. In other words, all the friends you have at that moment are within the movement you are about to leave. It creates a vicious circle and hence a virtually unsolvable problem.

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Norway | Germany | Sweden


English | Norwegian | French | German | Danish

Release Date:

20 March 2018 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

Exit - Leaving Extremism Behind See more »

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