There’s no shortage of documentaries about our current political climate or the fact that the Internet might be bad, but Feels Good Man focuses on the craziest intersection of these two modern realities: Pepe, the cartoon frog.
If you’re aware of Pepe already, chances are it’s because the character has become synonymous with the alt-right, that extreme online demographic tied to modern white supremacists and Nazi movements. Or perhaps you heard of Pepe before that, during the time this frog had become the meme du jour of 4chan, the anonymous message board associated with all sorts of nefarious real world behavior. Though Pepe’s most high profile 15 minutes of fame were inarguably an infamous cameo on then candidate Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, leading to the character’s adoption by some of his most extreme supporters like conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Feels Good Man will get to all that, of course, but this documentary starts with the now toxic toad’s tadpole days. By doing so, the film will likely show viewers something they didn’t know or hadn’t previously considered regardless of prior familiarity with Pepe and the insanity swirling around him. And through tracing Pepe’s evolution, Feels Good Man manages to remind everyone of a fundamental truth of communication, particularly in the Internet age. Once you click send on something, things like original intent and context might become as ephemeral as a single tweet.