SXSW 2022 review: The GameStop saga gets personal in ‘Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets’

Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets

It was the perfect storm. A global pandemic. An app aspiring to democratize trading. A group of Reddit users stuck at home with stimulus dollars to burn. And a video game company on its last legs. DIAMOND HANDS is the incredible true story of how an army of retail traders rallied around GameStop to rock our financial system. This is the legend of r/WallStreetBets.

SXSW22 documentary Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets finally puts faces (and screennames) to the Reddit users that toppled the system. Sitdown interviews, media footage, and quirky transitions come together to shatter the narrative of the rise and fall of GameStop stock. Even if this was a small sampling of the millions of group members, they had people from all walks of life, all levels of understanding. Trust me when I say it’s not who you think. It was fascinating to discover their motivations. Covid was a huge factor, so some had stimulus checks to spend. Each featured Reddit user had different lifestyles, varying amounts of money, and knowledge. I felt connected to these people. They explained their literal highs and lows along this wild journey. 

What it needed was a breakdown of the basic elements of the market, in the way The Big Short did. I watched the doc with my husband. He happens to be a Wall Street investment banker. He’s read about the GameStop movement, listened to podcasts, and is familiar with how all of this works. I read all the articles as it was exploding in real-time. Back then, I saw it as the little guy taking down the banks (and yes, I own the irony inside my marriage.) I could not help but cheer on a group of people who created a legitimate movement that stunned the financial world. Also, I’m an old-school GameStop dork. I’m no self-proclaimed gamer girl, but I frequented the store in the early 2000s. As I watched the doc, I was admittedly confused by the jargon, even as someone who tracks the market on her phone, alerts included. I felt like I needed more information, even with the tsunami already coming at me.

While some of the cartoonish elements of the transitions were a touch distracting, Diamondhands filled in a lot of blanks for me. I felt like I was no longer on the outside of this story. You’re going to fall in love with the Reddit mastermind. There’s no doubt about it. Am I secretly hoping he figures out another way to rally the little guy? Damn right, I am.

MSNBC Films and NBC News Studios produced Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets. It made its premiere at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival.

Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets will air on MSNBC Sunday, April 10 at 10:00 p.m. ET

To learn more about SXSW22 click here!

Review: Explore a Riveting Doc with ‘Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery’ on Discovery+ tomorrow!


$215 million dollars disappeared in 2018 when Gerry Cotten, CEO of one of North America’s largest crypto exchanges, died suddenly – or did he? Journalists, regulators and crypto enthusiasts are determined to discover what happened to Gerry and the fortunes of 115,000 creditors. Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery tracks a tantalizing unsolved story of deception, greed, corruption, and the potential of unregulated currency to be used for both good and evil.

A mysterious death abroad, $215 million missing, and a deep dive into the murky world of cryptocurrency– what else could you wish for? 

 Dead Man’s Switch is a captivating watch where viewers can’t be sure if they’re diving into the story of a heist, fraud, or perhaps even a murder mystery. Exploring the meteoric rise and dramatic fall of Quadriga CX, one of North America’s largest crypto exchanges, the documentary examines fascinating possibilities about what happened to its charismatic leader Gerry Cotten and– potentially more important for the many investors– where did all that money go? 

 A sharp group of journalists, crypto enthusiasts, and once-friends of Gerry provide detailed commentary on the allure of cryptocurrency and the tight-knit community that cultivated Cotten’s success. While the tales from the early years of Quadriga CX sound similar to many other tech startups– fun, fratty, communal– when the crypto markets start to slip, cracks in the facade begin to show. But it is not until Gerry Cotten dies suddenly in 2018 that the true mystery begins. 

 This doc is a fun watch for those intrigued by true crime or big tech, and also serves as an excellent primer for anyone itching to join in on fiery crypto-conspiracy Reddit boards.

Streaming on discovery+ on December 23rd

Written and Directed by Sheona McDonald (When Dreams Take Flight)

*Official Selection – Hot Docs 2021*
*Official Selection – Calgary International Film Festival*
*Official Selection –  DOXA*
*Official Selection – Melbourne Documentary Film Festival*
*Official Selection – Gimli Film Festival*