Lured by a toxic mix of propaganda showing images of the victims of war and horrific cruelty, alongside recruitment pitches with kittens and winking emojis, more than 100 Canadians have left home to join the war in Syria, to become members of Daesh (also known as ISIS, ISIL).

One of them was a 19-year-old Montreal woman — referred to in the documentary as Amina — who left in November 2014, shocking her mother with the news only after she’d left the country. On arrival, she phoned home almost immediately, telling her mother that she had made a terrible mistake.

Within those three years, Amina married an ISIS recruit from Germany, gave birth to his daughter and became pregnant with another.

In The Way Out, co-directors Michelle Shephard (Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr) and David York (Wiebo’s War), take an intimate journey with the mother (given the pseudonym Saeeda for her own protection), from Canada to Europe and Turkey and back again, as they work various channels seeking what a CSIS officer calls the “exfiltration” of Amina from inside the so-called Islamic State and into the custody of Canadian officials.

Written and Directed by: Michelle Shephard, David York
Edited by: Nick Hector CCE
Music by: Jonathan Goldsmith
Cinematography by: iris Ng, Wes Legge
Produced by: Brian Hughes, David York
Co-Produced by: Michelle Shephard
In Association with CBC