The Speed Cubers | Chicago Reader
click to enlarge the-speed-cubers-02.jpg

The Speed Cubers

Following two champions in the world of “speed cubing” (where participants rapidly solve Rubik’s Cubes, sometimes with one hand), this bite-sized documentary bypasses the predictable narratives of 80s nostalgia and competition and instead focuses on a touching friendship. Narratives about top-level male competition tend to indulge in the narrowest and most toxic swath of what masculinity can look like, yet when director Sue Kim turns the camera on world champions Feliks Zemdegs and Max Park, she completely breaks the mold. Like that of many professional athletes, the career of a speed cuber ends abruptly, on the cusp of the encroaching responsibilities of a less-glamorous adulthood, and the doc follows Zemdegs as he begins to grapple with the transition into the “real world” at the same time that his world records are being obliterated by young up-and-comer Park. Park is similarly grappling with his own coming-of-age struggles, as an autistic teenager who doesn’t always meet societally expected social-emotional growth benchmarks. For both Zemdegs and Park, the world of speed cubing offers a safe refuge where they can flourish before the demands of a decidedly more complex world push them far outside of their comfort zones. The Speed Cubers is a refreshing glimpse of the sustaining power of the purity of friendship and brotherhood, and a reminder to not underestimate the transformative magic of playing games.

Credits

Cast information not available at this time.

What others are saying

  • Now Playing

    By Film...

    By Theater...