The seamy Jewish underworld of Odessa is the setting for Isaac Babel's story based on the life of gangster king Mishka Yaponchik ("Mike the Jap") Vinnitsky. Murder is a way of life for Benya Krik and his gang. They profit from their criminal activities until the Russian Revolution and the local commissar assigns them "emergency revictualing patrol," making them a "revolutionary" regiment, complete with tattooed red stars. But this new post backfires for Benya as he finds himself ensnared in a Bolshevik trap.
Source : www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm