Organized crime is hardly unique to any one nation or culture, but in recent decades the Russian Mafia has gone from being all but unknown in the West to one of the world's most famous (and most feared) criminal organizations. As both politics and the economy were in disarray after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's crime syndicates rose to almost unheard-of power, and three Russian mob bosses talk on camera about their lives and careers in Alexander Gentelev's documentary Thieves By Law. Leonid "Mackintosh" Bilunov shows off his luxurious estate in France, speaks of his religious beliefs and revels in his good fortune while shrugging off the violence that helped him get where he is today. Alimzhan "Taiwanchik" Tokhtakhounov playfully questions the existence of organized crime in Russia and denies charges filed against him while insisting he uses his power and wealth to help people. And Vitaly "Bondar" Dymochka recalls his own bloody career in the underworld (as he puts it, "People were earning the kind of money worth killing for, so we killed") as well as tracing the grim history of the Russian mafia from Stalin's gulags to the fanatical rise of an underworld of thieves with an obsessive code of honor. Thieves By Law was an official selection at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.