Werner Herzog’s Bear sees an interesting and alarming one. A nugget:
For those of you who don’t know, Leonid Brezhnev lead the the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982. While its military might grew to unprecedented levels and its oil resources better exploited, beneath the images of tanks parading down Red Square on May Day sat a vast festering reservoir of economic and cultural stagnation. The situation, where a massive military machine had to be supported by hobbled economy, led to Gorbachev’s reforms and eventually to the Soviet system’s collapse. A world power, one of the two superpowers, was brought low in an astoundingly short period of time. One notable thing about this period was not only the economic stagnation, but the basic loss of faith in the Soviet system and communist ideology. Laconic workers in this period used to quip “we pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.” This is hardly the spirit of the “shock workers” who helped build steel mills in the Ural wilderness in the 1930s. . . .
I see plenty of parallels to America’s present and its recent history.