Cube #autism #savant movie


Cube is first and foremost a sci-fi/mystery/thriller movie and premiered at the Toronto Film Festival 1997.

  • One of the characters, Kazan, is an Autistic math Savant

Every review of Cube that I have read so far has focused on the sci-fi/mystery/thriller aspect of the movie.

  • There is nothing I could add


We first meet Kazan about a 1/3 of the way into the movie

  • When the other characters are already quite well developed

The other 5 inmates of the Cube continue their quest to find a way out as well as just staying alive.

  • Kazan is kept in the background, tagging along
  • His autism is obvious, but not overdone

Kazan’s presence and behavior arouses the hostility of Quentin, the self appointed ‘leader’

  • But his hostility seemed to be entirely out of concern for Kazan’s unpredictability
  • inside a lethal machine delivering an already steady stream of unpredictability
  • with dire consequences

The Savant

Kazan’s math savant skills are only revealed towards the very end of the film.

  • With no loud fanfares
  • barely a whisper really

The film maker brings Kazan to center stage only after the other inmates have exhausted their ideas and their brain capacity.

  • The breakthrough is the result of a collaboration between Kazan and Leaven, a math student

The inclusion of a math savant in this film is effective, though somewhat puzzling, at least to me.

Cube was made too early to have been influenced by Daniel Tammet.

  • Rain Man, released in 1988, may have provided the template of an Autistic savant
  • But unlike Raymond Babbitt in Rain Man, Kazan is barely verbal for much of his performance
  • and his savant skills are only revealed at the end of the movie


I can’t develop the significance of Kazan any further, without spoiling the plot.

The movie leaves the viewer with a lot of unanswered questions about the main thriller/sci-fi/mystery plot:

  • let alone the autistic savant character

Like the film maker, I will leave it to viewers to make up their own minds about Kazan and the motives of the film maker.


Cube trailer



Cube is believed to have been inspired by this episode of the Twilight Zone:

Five Characters in search of an exit (1961)


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