“Feels Good Man” is a documentary for the internet age

“Feels Good Man” is one of the best documentaries in recent memory, and one of the best films ever made about the internet.


Wavelength Productions

Poster for the documentary “Feels Good Man.”

Imagine if Snoopy from “Peanuts” became a symbol for loving the Nazis. Now imagine that you are Charles Schultz and you suddenly have to deal with your innocent creation becoming a symbol for hatred and bigotry. That is the exact scenario Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe the Frog, found himself in. “Feels Good Man” is the beautiful, hilarious, dark, and inspiring story of Furie’s quest to reclaim his creation from the White Power and Neo-Nazi movements.

For those who don’t know, Pepe the Frog is a cartoon character originally created by Matt Furie for his comic “Boy’s Club.” Over time, Pepe became a meme on the internet, simply because people liked the way Pepe looked. Eventually, the far-right movements of the internet began to use Pepe as a mascot of sorts, and he came to represent things such as racism, xenophobia, and fascism. This brings us to the present day, and the release of the documentary.

Clocking in at only 93 minutes, the fast-paced documentary is an easy and engaging watch that keeps the viewer’s eyes locked to the screen. A large part of what makes the documentary so engaging is the animation. Around one fourth of the documentary is animation, done in the same style as the cartoon where Pepe originated, that cartoon being “Boys Club.” This gives the documentary a distinct and beautiful look that any viewer is sure to enjoy.

It would not be a stretch to say that this is the best movie ever made about the internet

The other aspect that makes the documentary so thoroughly engaging is the way it approaches internet culture. The documentary may be specifically about Pepe the Frog, but really it’s using Pepe as a lens through which to analyze internet culture and how it can change the meaning of something. It would not be a stretch to say that this is the best movie ever made about the internet. The issue most movies have when it comes to the internet is that the internet is constantly changing, whereas a movie is concrete. So often times a movie that references internet culture might feel dated only a year after its release. However “Feels Good Man” is different. It approaches the internet from the perspective of Furie, an outsider. This outsider perspective, coupled with the fact that the documentary is literally about the internet changing, gives the documentary a timeless and universal appeal.

Pepe became a meme on the internet, simply because people liked the way Pepe looked

Despite the technical achievements of this film and the landmark it is for films about the internet, what really makes this documentary great is, obviously, the story. The story of Pepe the Frog has everything you could want. It’s a tale of good vs evil, full of hatred and injustice, innocence lost, one mans impossible quest to take back what was stolen from him, filled with humor, drama, and tragedy along the whole way. It’s a story that reaches all across the world, from politicians in Washington to protestors in Hong Kong. And at the center of this epic story are Furie and Pepe. A cartoonist and his cartoon.

This documentary alone will not take Pepe back from the bigots of the internet. That is a war that will take years and countless more hours of dedication from Furie. But what this documentary does do is inspire. It’s heartwarming to see someone fight against hatred. Do you know what it feels like to watch this documentary? It feels good man.