About the last days of Leonid Brezhnev, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He is sick and depressed, but he is still trying to enjoy some pleasures of life. He is hunting, eating, and sleeping a lot. While awake, he is recalling his life and his career.
Most depressing are his painful thoughts about his treason against Khrushchev, who promoted Brezhnev to the top. Other senile members of the Politbureau are nervous about the choice of a successor. Andropov anxiously interrogates the doctor about Brezhnev's imminent death. He asks, "How soon?"