Feeling of Being Watched, The Directed
Assia Boundaoui USA / 2018 / 87 minutes
English and Arabic with subtitles
Times and Venues:
Upstate Films II RHINEBECK
Bearsville Theater WOODSTOCK
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Rabab Haj Yahya
What is it like to live under constant surveillance? Just ask Assia Boundaoui, a Muslim and an investigative journalist who grew up in Bridgeview, IL, a tight-knit community with a large Muslim population where the FBI seems to have taken up residence as early as 1990. Using the code name “Vulgar Betrayal,” a special agent launched an investigation into charitable funds he believed were being siphoned to terrorist organizations. Under the umbrella of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Assia is determined to find the truth. Met with rejection at nearly every step, “...the thin letters are never good news,” Assia remarks as she opens the letters denying her requests. Undeterred, she continues to dig deeper, ultimately finding more than 33,000 heavily redacted surveillance documents. A true- life detective story, The Feeling of Being Watched utilizes flash frames and snappy editing to meticulously reveal racial profiling at its most extreme. Gripping and compelling filmmaking. —Barbara Pokras, ACE
BIO: Assia Boundaoui is an Algerian-American journalist and filmmaker based in Chicago. She has reported for the BBC, NPR, PRI, AlJazeera, VICE, and CNN. Her debut short film about hijabi hair salons for the HBO Lenny documentary series premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Her feature-length debut The Feeling of Being Watched, a documentary investigating a decade of FBI surveillance in Boundaoui's Muslim-American community, had its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. She is currently a fellow with the Co-Creation Studio at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she is iterating her most recent work, the Inverse Surveillance Project. Boundaoui has a Masters degree in journalism from New York University and is fluent in Arabic.
Executive Producer(s): Jim Butterworth, Daniel J. Chalfen, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Debra Mcleod, Jay K. Sears, Bill Harnisch, Ruth Ann Harnisch, Alexa Poletto, Michael D. Mann, Barry W. Rashkover, Vijay Dewan
The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization with a mission to present an
annual program and year-round schedule of film, music,
and art-related activities that promote artists, culture,
inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film
Commission promotes sustainable economic development
by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.