Feeling of Being Watched, The Directed
Assia Boundaoui USA / 2018 / 87:00 minutes
English w/ some Arabic
Times and Venues:
Bearsville Theater WOODSTOCK
Upstate Films II RHINEBECK
In the Arab-American neighborhood outside of Chicago where director Assia Boundaoui grew up, most of her neighbors think they have been under surveillance for over a decade. While investigating their experiences, Assia uncovers tens of thousands of pages of FBI documents that prove her hometown was the subject of one of the largest counterterrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11, code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” With unprecedented access, The Feeling of Being Watched weaves the personal and the political as it follows the filmmaker’s examination of why her community fell under blanket government surveillance. Assia struggles to disrupt the government secrecy shrouding what happened and takes the FBI to federal court to compel them to make the records they collected about her community public. In the process, she confronts long-hidden truths about the FBI’s relationship to her community. The Feeling of Being Watched follows Assia as she pieces together this secret FBI operation, while grappling with the effects of a lifetime of surveillance on herself and her family.
Assia Boundaoui is an Algerian-American journalist and filmmaker based in Chicago. She has reported for BBC, NPR, AlJazeera, VICE, and CNN and was the recipient of a first place Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting in Yemen. She directed a short film on hijabi hair salons for the HBO "LENNY" docu-series, which premiered as an official selection of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Assia has a Masters degree in journalism from New York University and is fluent in Arabic. THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED is her directorial debut.
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.