This self-made monarch and his court are an anarchic element—thieves with an honor code, polite blackmailers, excellent hosts: a force neither for good nor evil but only for itself. The Soviets couldn’t tolerate it, nor how immensely enjoyable a film it made for—they banned it. Later, Babel was shot. In 2011 an expensive-looking, nostalgia-riding Yaponchik series aired on Russian television. Long live the King, wherever he may be.