SXSW: “DIAMOND HANDS: THE LEGEND OF WALLSTREETBETS”
By David Baldwin
Whether you know everything or absolutely nothing about investing in the stock market, chances are you heard about a group of Redditors who took on Wall Street and won early last year. Or at least, how they made an obscene amount of money and changed long held perceptions about the industry at large.
Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari’s Documentary DIAMOND HANDS: THE LEGEND OF WALLSTREETBETS gives an overview of the events as told by many of the Redditors who were part of the r/WallStreetBets Subreddit group (one member even goes so far as to wear a knight’s helmet to mask his true identity). They are mainly comprised of angry millennials fighting a losing battle against a system that has been rigged against them, and chronicles how they found their way to joining this group during the raging pandemic. The Film never gets into the nitty gritty, nor does it receive answers for the hard questions about the fallout from the group’s short squeeze on the Gamestop stock. There are some insightful moments with some classic cutthroat Wall Street types, but the majority of players from the big corporations refuse to speak to the camera. Rather than dwell on who they cannot talk to, DIAMOND HANDS generally just plays into the hype and hysteria around what happened, frequently cutting to stock news footage and interviews, or the plethora of profane gifs and memes that populate the Subreddit. Some are hilarious, while others are hilariously offensive.
While it may not be in-depth, DIAMOND HANDS is thoroughly entertaining and genuinely riveting to watch the players describe the events before, during and after what happened with the Gamestop stock. It does not so much capture the zeitgeist as much as it speaks to the attitudes of a generation tired of being treated as condescendingly. The Film is even pretty informative in a tongue-in-cheek way, moving along the same lines as Adam McKay’s Oscar-winning The Big Short in some cases, with its explanations and lingo. More specifically, it highlights the difference between Diamond Hands and Paper Hands – which is pretty key if you are like me and suddenly keen on wanting to join the r/WallStreetBets subreddit immediately after watching.
DIAMOND HANDS: THE LEGEND OF WALLSTREET BETS screens at SXSW ’22:
Sunday, March 13 at 8:00pm EST – SXSW Film Theater
Tuesday, March 15 at 3:45pm EST – Alamo Lamar A
Thursday, March 17 at 12:15pm EST – Alamo Lamar B
Monday, March 14 at 10:00am EST – Available for 48 hours