The documentary “Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets” kicks off the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, as new traders began using their stimulus checks to try the stock market. The most optimistic traders gathered on the WallStreetBets subreddit, where get-rich-quick dreamers share tips for undervalued stocks. At the end of 2020, GameStop was among their juiciest prospects.
The amateur investors who made the first GameStop recommendations are an eclectic and irreverent group, from a grocery store worker to a day trader who wears a metal helmet to protect his identity. As this group of outsiders saw it, GameStop was the target of short-term investment hedge funds, essentially turning it into a stock that provided established investors with money if the company went bankrupt. But if stocks rise, those who buy in could take advantage of the bubble and generate huge losses for hedge fund managers.
It was the dream meme stock, and the film’s subjects remember using the Robinhood trading app to carry out their plan to rob the rich and give it to themselves. Some made millions. Others failed to pay out and suffered the consequences of speculation.
Filmmakers Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper build the story primarily through their interviews, but they’re adept at tailoring the film’s style to the hyper-online language of their profit-obsessed subjects. Interviews are interspersed with the memes these merry forum trolls shared when they thought they were in for a fortune. It’s a smooth, entertaining approach that offers a surprising insight into the psychology that spawned the GameStop phenomenon. Investors were playing with some serious money, but their minds were a farce plunge into hyperspace – a week of gambling in a cyber Vegas that was, for some, worth the hangover.
Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets
Not judged. Running time: 1 hour 29 minutes. Look at Peacock.