In the summer of 1971, Philip Zimbardo, Craig Haney, and Curtis Banks carried out a psychological experiment to test a simple question. What happens when you put good people in an evil place-does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? To explore this question, college student volunteers were pretested and randomly assigned to play the role of prisoner or guard in a simulated prison at Stanford University. Although the students were mentally healthy and knew they were taking part in an experiment, some guards soon because sadistic and the prisoners showed signs of acute stress and depression. After only six days, the planned two-week study spun out of control and had to be ended to prevent further abuse of the prisoners. This dramatic demonstration of the power of social situations is relevant to many institutional settings, such as the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq.
A poor French teenage girl engages in an illicit affair with a wealthy Chinese heir in 1920s Saigon. For the first time in her young life she has control, and she wields it deftly over her besotted lover throughout a series of clandestine meetings and torrid encounters.
An infamous terrorist has evaded capture for a long time by being extremely clever and ruthless. Things get interesting when he hijacks a plane carrying famous security expert John Cutter, who isn't about to stand this sort of thing.
William Munny is a retired, once-ruthless killer turned gentle widower and hog farmer. To help support his two motherless children, he accepts one last bounty-hunter mission to find the men who brutalized a prostitute.