Don't Sleep On... The Speed Cubers On Netflix

The new documentary tells in the inside story of competitive Rubik's Cubing. Tissues will be required.


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If you've ever felt smug about being able to solve a Rubik's Cube, prepare to feel extremely inadequate after watching The Speed Cubers. In a petite 40-minute package, the new Netflix documentary spotlights the world of competitive cubing and the very tender rivalry at its heart.


What Is Speedcubing?

Speedcubing is solving a Rubik's Cube as quickly as possible. Competitors are given a cube that has been scrambled by a computer and are allowed to inspect it for 15 seconds before they solve it against the clock.

What Kind Of Speed Are We Talking?

Watch this to see. Speedcubers typically memorize around 300 algorithms, which enables them to solve in seconds.


So There Are Actual Competitions?

Correct — and they're kind of a big deal. Every two years, the World Cube Association hosts the world championship in a new location, with competitors flying in from around the world to go head-to-head in a series of different formats.


Who Are The Main Players?

The documentary focuses on Feliks Zemdegs (right), a 23-year-old Australian who once held most of the speedcubing world records. He's going up against Max Park (left), a 17-year-old Korean-American who is hot on his heels.


Are They Arch Rivals?

Yes and no. Max is autistic and got into cubing to help with his fine motor skills. He idolizes Feliks but is now dismantling his legacy. It's not your average breeding ground for a great friendship, but there's a tenderness between them that will make you weep.

So, What's The Reaction?

This tweet says it all.

That's Quite An Endorsement.

Indeed. Despite the tears you will certainly cry, I promise that it's actually wonderfully uplifting.


How Did The Director Even Find This Story?

Director Sue Kim's own son got into speedcubing, and when they went to a competition in Oregon, she was hooked. "When they go out to dinner, they have to bring a cube," Kim told Fast Company. "The cubing is endless."

Where Can I Watch It?

The rest of the film is on Netflix and the trailer is here. Oh, and fair warning — the ending won't be at all what you expect.