There are plenty excellent sports documentaries available on Netflix.
Untold, a collection of flawless reports on the oddest and most remarkable sports tales of the previous three decades, stands out as the best of the bunch. On the other hand, there’s a film I’ve seen hardly anyone talk about. And they really should; it’s fantastic.
The Speed Cubers is a documentary on the rapidly growing subculture of speed cubing, the practise of solving many varieties of Rubik’s Cube as fast as possible.
This speed cubing thing blows my mind. A 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube may stump the average person for hours, but the greatest solve them in within seconds. This book, The Speed Cubers, delves further into this subculture by concentrating on the lives of two of the world’s fastest speed cubers: the famous Feliks Zemdegs and the current king of speed cubing, Max Park.
Zemdegs is arguably the greatest Rubik’s Cube player of all time. Although he has had every one of his 121 world records in speed cubing broken, he is still generally regarded as the best of all time. He has won the speed cubing world championship twice (in 2013 and 2015).
Parks considers Zemdegs a hero despite the fact that in 2022, Parks has shattered almost all of Zemdegs’s records. Park, now 20 years old, was identified as having severe to moderate autism when he was only two years old. After his mother handed him a Rubik’s Cube to improve his motor skills, Parks got fixated with solving puzzles involving cubes of various shapes and sizes. It was via speed cubing events that Max not only discovered his love but also found a means to grow as a person socially and meet some wonderful friends.
What starts out as a fairly generic tale of a legendary figure passing the torch develops into something much deeper and more meaningful. Both Felix and Max are good friends with Park, and Park looks up to Felix as a mentor in both speed cubing and social graces.
This film is at its best when focusing on Zemdegs’s nuanced interactions with Park and his family. Particularly now that Zemdegs is facing the difficulties of being at a lower level in the hobby he spent his life mastering.
It warms your heart, that’s for sure. The Speed Cubers is a fantastic portrait of two very different people who are both relentlessly committed to the same pursuit, despite the film’s brevity. In addition, it’s a tale of the intrinsic worth of competition and the bonds formed among rival teams. Only one of these two amazing people can hold the title of world’s best speed cuber, but does it really matter who it is? While telling the tale of one of the most intriguing subcultures on Earth, The Speed Cubers is also a story about the importance of doing the right thing by others. A loyal companion, too.
Subtly charming pop culture geek. Amateur analyst. Freelance tv buff. Coffee lover