FEELS GOOD MAN
"...you’ll find a powerful story here..."
- Branden Mayer
Feels Good Man is an insightful, vital and deeply personal documentary about the fascinating journey through modern culture that one artist's creation has gone on and their struggle to control its legacy.
To most people, the idea of a documentary on Pepe the Frog may seem ridiculous, but for those who know more, there’s clearly a compelling and incredible story to be told here. Luckily, in the hands of director Arthur Jones, that’s exactly what we get. Typically, when a topic so entrenched in the nebulous landscape of the internet is tackled by a film or on television, it can come off as comically misunderstood, upsettingly broad or just plain goofy, but luckily Feels Good Man avoids anything close to that. Instead, we get a lovingly crafted film told through a series of interviews that cover this frog’s absurd history, its cultural implications and the effect of all of it on his humble creator Matt Furie.
While the film uses impressive animated sequences and offers even more impressively well-researched details about Pepe’s past and present exploits online, Feels Good Man is held together by the personal struggles of Furie, as he grapples with the fact that his fun-loving creation has been at the centre of an ugly cultural tug-of-war, which most people would probably rather have nothing to do with. It’s an affecting story of how the internet allows artists to give their creations to the world and how it allows the world to take those creations and do what it will with them. Whether you only know Pepe as the mascot of the deplorables or know the full scope of his legacy in detail, you’ll find a powerful story here that comments on the confusing, strange and scary times we’ve been living in.
If you’re in Canada, the film is currently available for on-demand streaming through the Fantasia Film Festival until September 2nd and will be officially released September 4th. We strongly recommend you don’t sleep on this one.