The time is the late '80s, a crucial period in the history of South Africa. President P.W. Botha is hanging on to power by a thread as the African National Congress (ANC) takes up arms against apartheid and the country tumbles toward insurrection. A British mining concern is convinced that their interests would be better served in a stable South Africa and they quietly dispatch Michael Young, their head of public affairs, to open an unofficial dialogue between the bitter rivals. Assembling a reluctant yet brilliant team to pave the way to reconciliation by confronting obstacles that initially seem insurmountable, Young places his trust in ANC leader Thabo Mbeki and Afrikaner philosophy professor Willie Esterhuyse. It is their empathy that will ultimately serve as the catalyst for change by proving more powerful than the terrorist bombs that threaten to disrupt the peaceful dialogue.
In a gritty and alternate 1985 the glory days of costumed vigilantes have been brought to a close by a government crackdown, but after one of the masked veterans is brutally murdered an investigation into the killer is initiated.
In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "The Basterds" are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis.
When reporter Jean Craddock interviews Bad Blake -- an alcoholic, seen-better-days country music legend -- they connect, and the hard-living crooner sees a possible saving grace in a life with Jean and her young son.