Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets Documentary

SXSW Review: ‘Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets’

March 13, 2022Ben MK

As the old adage goes, it takes money to make money. But when it really comes down to it, how many people really know what that means? For the millions of users who belong to the subreddit WallStreetBets, investing is about more than just squirrelling away a small chunk of their pay cheque every month and putting it away into a retirements savings account, it's about asymmetric betting. And in the documentary Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets, filmmakers Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari take a look at how these everyday, ordinary individuals managed to have a huge effect on not just the stock market, but also the companies that have built their entire business model on it.

Of course, it's easy to reflect on it all now and to attempt to logically analyze the events that led up to the meteoric rise of brick and mortar video game retailer GameStop's share prices — which reached an all-time closing high of $325 USD on January 29, 2021 — but for those who found themselves caught up in the stock market madness at the time, what was happening was anything but logical. Through interviews with a handful of WallStreetBets investors, key players such as JeffAmazon (aka Alvan Chow) and Sir Jackalot (who prefers to remain anonymous), and experts like stock analyst Brent Kochuba and former hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz, Cooper and Canepari explain how a fringe group of stock market speculators managed to manipulate a stock that was originally valued in the single digits and cause its price to skyrocket. Make no mistake, however, for the WallStreetBets online community didn't do it alone — they also had a little help from none other than Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

Part detailed analysis, part tongue-in-cheek reenactment, the result makes for a fascinating dissection of one of the most jaw-dropping phenomenons in financial history. Suffice to say, the events chronicled in Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets only reinforce another age-old adage — where there's a will, there's a way. And as long as there are those who feel cheated by the system, who's to say that history won't one day repeat itself.

Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets screens under the Documentary Spotlight section at the 2022 South by Southwest Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 29 min.

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