Pepe the Frog is one of the most popular internet characters. In 2005 he made his debut on the Internet on Myspace as a character from Matt Furie’s mocking, independent comic called Boy’s Club #1. The heroes of the comic are cartoon anthropomorphic characters: Brett, Andy, Landwolf and Pepe the Frog who became the embodiment of the absurd comic and soon took a life of its own. A few years later the scene with Pepe the Frog happy with his life accompanied by the speech bubble saying, “Feels good, man”, became a positive Internet meme.
Everything changed with the aggressive Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. In 2015 on the imageboard 4chan in the section of political discussions gathering neo-Nazi, racists, sexists the user Maldraw posted a picture with Pepe the Frog in Donald’s Trump wig and with the boarding fence isolating him from the sad characters in Mexican clothes. Since then the fans of Trump from 4chan cherished the image of Pepe-Trump, who with a bush on his head and American flag in the background appeared even on the future president’s Twitter.
A pleasant character turned into a hate symbol exploited by extreme nationalists and rightists in USA and Europe. A movie presents the story of Pepe and his unbelievable transformation into extremely right icon of the Internet. The movie features his creator – Matt Furie, who for many months tried to restore good name of his character by running a campaign #SavePepe, but eventually he was made to put him down. The movie is also an accurate portrayal of the Internet and the audiovisual culture that surrounds us, in which the meaning of pictures might suddenly and unexpectedly change under the impact of the manipulation which we all are subjected to.
WORLD PREMIERE: Sundance Film Festival 2020
Age restriction: 12+
director: Arthur Jones screenwriters: Giorgio Angelini, Matt Furie, Arthur Jones, Aaron Wickenden cast: Robert Barnes, Samantha Bee, Jeremy Blackburn directors of photography: Giorgio Angelini, Kurt Keppeler, Guy Mossman, David Usui editors: Drew Blatman, Katrina Taylor, Aaron Wickenden music: Ari Balouzian, Ryan Hope language: English subtitles: Polish