The film takes viewers into the hidden world of one of Russia’s most impenetrable and remote institutions: Penal Colony 56, a maximum security prison exclusively for murderers. Its 260 inmates have collectively killed nearly 800 people. It is a unique and startling insight into inscrutable minds and the dark and forbidding world these people have been condemned to. This feature length documentary delves deep into the mind and soul of six main characters: The organized crime contract killer whose family believed he worked in the oil business. The hard man who has spent more than forty years behind bars. The murderer of six who, by his own admission, is too vicious to ever be let out again. The “downcast” – a killer whose hand even other murderers will not shake. The inmate who, after 20 years in jail, now fears freedom. In charge of the mad and the bad is the prison’s hard line governor, who after 26 years, has been at the penal colony longer than any inmate. In brutally frank and uncensored interviews the inmates speak of their crimes, life and death, redemption and remorselessness, freedom and families, insanity and hope.