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The Russian Mafia: what can't they do? After this insider's look into the world of, ahem, "hypothetical" crimes, it's pretty clear that the answer is nyet. Following the stories of three mafiosi-cum-businessmen, Thieves By Law paints a fascinating tableau of men that would make Tony Soprano cringe. Most intriguing, though, are their personal histories interwoven with the evolution of the Russian Mafia itself. Beginning in Stalin's gulags and slowly transforming into an international organization, the mafia and Code of Thieves have always directly correlated to the political struggles of the Soviet Union—reflecting society back to the government like a funhouse mirror.

These men have been through bad times as well as good, persevering with the ammunition of street smarts, savvy, and loyalty to their code, and eventually transforming themselves from cunning crooks to shrewd businessmen. Through unprecedented access and a knack for asking all the right questions, director Alexander Gentelev shows us exactly what happens when a dark underbelly is flipped on its back: It slaps on some sunscreen, orders a Molotov cocktail, and soaks up those French Riviera rays….

Film Information
Year: 2010
Length: 90 minutes
Language: Russian, Hebrew
Country: Germany, Israel, Spain
Premiere: World
Cast & Credits
Director: Alexander Gentelev
Screenwriter: Alexander Gentelev
Producer: Simone Baumann, Sasha Klein
Editor: Alik Baskin
Director of Photography: Sergei Freedman
Executive Producer: Simone Baumann, Sasha Klein
Producer: Maya Zinshtein
Press Contacts
Special Note


Co-presented by The Consulate General of Israel in NY
in association with The Israeli Film Center

About the Director(s)
Alexander Gentelev emigrated from Russia to Israel in 1992. He returned to Russia to collect material for a film about the Russian oligarchs. His films include the award-winning The Rise and Fall of the Russian Oligarchs, Generation of Loneliness, Yolki-Palki, The Operation Successor, and Just Like Home.


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