Netflix is bulging with world-class sports activities documentaries.
On the high of the pile is Untold, a sequence of immaculate options about the strangest, most unbelievable tales in sport over the previous few a long time. However there’s extra the place that got here from. The Final Dance is on Netflix. The Oscar-winning Icarus is on Netflix. There’s Athlete A, The River Runner, Dangerous Sport — the listing is limitless.
However there’s one documentary I not often hear individuals wax lyrical about. And they need to, as a result of it is unbelievable.
Coming in at an accessible 40 minutes, The Velocity Cubers is a brief, barely feature-length documentary about velocity cubing, the act of fixing various kinds of Rubik’s Cubes as rapidly as attainable.
Velocity cubing is thoughts boggling. Most individuals would battle to determine a 3x3x3 Rubik’s Dice in hours if challenged, however the most effective can resolve them in seconds. The Velocity Cubers explores this subculture, specializing in the tales of two of the world’s quickest, the legendary Feliks Zemdegs and the brand new king of velocity cubing, Max Park.
In some methods, Zemdegs is the Roger Federer of Rubik’s Cubes. Regardless of the actual fact each velocity cubing document he as soon as held has now been damaged, he is broadly thought of the best of all time, having established as much as 121 world information and profitable the velocity cubing world championship twice, in 2013 and 2015.
Zemdegs is the hero of Parks, who now, in 2022, has damaged virtually each document Zemdegs as soon as held. Now 20 years previous, Park was identified with average to extreme autism on the age of two. After his mom gave him a Rubik’s Dice to assist develop his motor abilities, Parks rapidly grew to become obsessive about fixing all totally different sorts of cubes. By his participation in velocity cubing competitions, Max not solely discovered his ardour, he discovered a option to socially develop and make nice mates within the course of.
What might have simply been a bog-standard story a few once-legendary determine passing the torch in the end evolves into one thing way more profound. Not solely are Felix and Max mates, however Felix is one thing of a job mannequin for Park — not simply within the creating artwork of velocity cubing, however in deal with himself socially.
Zemdegs’ delicate interactions with Park and his household are on the core of this documentary, and so they’re lovely to observe. Particularly as Zemdegs wrestles with the challenges of now not being on the apex of the interest he devoted his life to perfecting.
It is heartwarming stuff. Regardless of its brief runtime, The Velocity Cubers serves as a unbelievable portrait of two very totally different people each relentlessly dedicated to the identical pursuit. Past that, it is also a narrative in regards to the true worth of sport, and the connection between these competing towards each other. Solely one among these two unbelievable human beings might be the most effective velocity cuber on the planet, however within the grand scheme of issues, does it matter who? The Velocity Cubers is a narrative about some of the fascinating subcultures on planet Earth, however it’s additionally a narrative about what it means to be a superb individual. And a superb pal.