Photo by Kurt Keppeler and Christian Bruno

‘Feels Good Man’ Is a Blistering Debut

Sundance winner a notable first feature

1 min read

Feels Good Man
(USA, 93 min.)
Dir. Arthur Jones

Arthur Jones makes a blistering debut with this look at the man behind a meme. Matt Furie created Pepe the Frog as part of the slacker indie comic called Boy’s Club only to find his chill, cold-blooded creature morphed into a sensation in dank corners of the internet like 4chan. Eventually, this image of an affable amphibian became intertwined with the alt-right movement. He made cameos in presidential tweets and eventually landed on a list of hate symbols published by the Anti-Defamation League.

Jones’ colourful film mixes animation, compelling interviews, and some bewildering tangents that provide a unique glimpse into a fundamental icon of the internet age. Feels Good Man is one of those wonderful non-fiction works that one approaches assuming that the story has already been told, only to find more depth and insight as the layers are peeled away. At times heartbreaking, at times uplifting, it’s a profound look into a subject that by its very nature feels ephemeral. Shown in this light, Pepe proves to be a touchstone representation about what’s heartwarming, and what’s truly heart wrenching, in our interconnected global culture.

Originally reviewed at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Jason Gorber is a film journalist and member of the Toronto Film Critics Association. He is the Managing Editor/Chief Critic at and a regular contributor for POV Magazine, and CBC Radio. His has written for Slashfilm, Esquire, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Screen Anarchy, HighDefDigest, Birth.Movies.Death, IndieWire and more. He has appeared on CTV NewsChannel, CP24, and many other broadcasters. He has been a jury member at the Reykjavik International Film Festival, Calgary Underground Film Festival, RiverRun Film Festival, TIFF Canada's Top 10, Reel Asian and Fantasia's New Flesh Award. Jason has been a Tomatometer-approved critic for over 20 years.

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