The Betrayal explores personal nightmares and the nature of belonging.
DIRECTED BY KAREN WINTHER (UK and Norway, Special Presentations)
Saturday, April 28, 7:30 p.m.
TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 (350 King Street West)
Sunday, April 29, 4:00 p.m.
Cumberland 3 (159 Cumberland Street)
Friday, May 4 9:00 p.m.
ROM Theatre (100 Queen’s Park)
The Betrayal is one of those rare documentaries that manages to tell an extremely personal story in a way that doesn’t feel self-serving. Instead, the film balances Norwegian director Karen Winther’s own confessions with interviews conducted by her, as she attempts to piece together a part of her past that she has long suppressed.
After a hard childhood, Winther found what she thought was a home in the ranks of a far-left anti-racist group called Blitz. As the group became increasingly violent, she eventually betrayed them by becoming a mole for a militant neo-Nazi group. This trajectory seems so bizarre that it could only be the stuff of fiction, but Winther gives it the ring of truth by dedicating part of the film to explaining the allure of extremism. Indeed, at times the documentary almost feels like a self-intervention, as if she is a recovering addict. And, in a manner of speaking, she is—though in this case the drug was hate.
The Betrayal explores not just Oslo’s extreme political sub-culture but also what it means to belong, and to live with the past and forgive.