Review: 'Feels Good Man' tells the story of Pepe, the slacker frog who just so happens to be a symbol of hate
Pepe the Frog wasn't supposed to represent white supremacy and the alt-right. The character - and his creator, Matt Furie - are profiled in the entertaining and eye-opening "Feels Good Man," a documentary about the power of going viral.
Matt Furie is a laid-back, somewhat timid artist, whose 2005 comic "Boy's Club" wasn't all that well-known at first. It depicted a group of immature slackers like Andy, Brett, Landwolf and Pepe the Frog. Unbeknownst to his creator, Pepe began popping up in internet memes with the tag "feels good man" and he became somewhat of an internet sensation...a particular version of him as "sad frog" began being used to portray feelings of loneliness and sadness from those who posted it.
Somehow along the way, Pepe was picked up as a symbol of hatred, bigotry and anti-government outrage. To this day, he is a symbol used by fringe hate groups and movements...it even began showing up as a symbol of dissent in the 2019 Hong Kong protests.
All the while, creator Matt Furie wonders what he could have done differently to prevent his beloved character and creation from being appropriated, and twisted into such a horrible representation of evil.
"Feels Good Man" tells the story of Pepe and of Matt Furie, and shows not only the power of the internet but the mob mentality that can overwhelm the forces of good. Here is a creator desperately trying to regain control of his own creation, who has taken on a life of his own online. It's an odd story, for sure, and there doesn't seem to be a nicer guy on the planet than Matt Furie...which makes Pepe the Frog and this documentary all the more unlikely, and fascinating.
Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes.
Directed by Arthur Jones (feature-film debut).
"Feels Good Man" is now available on various streaming platforms.
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