The Feeling of Being Watched

A Social Cinema Screening

“I am constantly juggling within me two conflicting gazes: how I see myself, and how I see myself through the eyes of others, through the eyes of a world that views me with suspicion and fear.” – Assia Boundaoui, filmmaker

In Bridgeview, Illinois, a tight-knit Arab-American community where Assia Boundaoui grew up, neighbors regularly spotted unfamiliar black vans parked on their streets and repairmen climbing telephone poles in the middle of the night. They grew to accept unexpected home visits from men in dark suits and came to believe they had been under surveillance for more than a decade.

In her riveting new film, The Feeling of Being Watched, journalist and filmmaker Assia Boundaoui investigates the experiences of her family and neighbors during what she discovers is one of the largest counter terrorism investigations ever conducted in the US before 9/11, code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” In a fight for transparency and the citizens’ right to know, Boundaoui files Freedom of Information Act requests for the FBI files. After months of government delays, she takes them to court to compel them to make the records they collected on her community public. The request yields 33,120 pages of FBI records which never resulted in convicting anyone of terrorism.

On June 5, join New America NYC at Betaworks Studios for a special screening of The Feeling of Being Watched and a conversation that considers the effects of a lifetime of surveillance and looks at the work being done to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens.


Assia Boundaoui @assuss
Director and Producer, The Feeling of Being Watched
Class of 2019 National Fellow

Michael German
Former FBI Special Agent
Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program Fellow

Azmat Khan @AzmatZahra
Contributing Writer, the New York Times Magazine
Class of 2017 ASU Future of War Fellow

Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open for a reception at 6:00pm with the screening starting promplty at 6:30pm.

Follow the conversation online using @BeingWatchedDOC and @NewAmericaNYC.