THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED

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 documenting their experiences, the filmmaker uncovers hundreds of pages of declassified 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, it was 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 investigation into why her community fell under blanket government surveillance. Assia struggles to disrupt the government secrecy shrouding what happened in her neighborhood in the 90’s and probes why her community feels like they’re still being watched today. In the process, she confronts long-hidden truths about the FBI’s relationship to her community. 

The Feeling of Being Watched follows filmmaker Assia Boundaoui as she pieces together evidence of a secret FBI operation targeting her neighborhood , while grappling with the effects of a lifetime of surveillance on herself and her family.