Harlem Theatrical Premiere
Friday, May 3rd, 6:30pm
Films by Firelight: The Feeling of Being Watched
Assia Boundaoui, 2018, 86 min
This is a Free Program
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.
Pre-reception and Q&A with director Assia Boundaoui to follow screening. More speakers TBA.
6:30pm - Reception
7:30pm - The Feeling of Being Watched screening
9:00pm - Q&A
This program is part of:
Films by Firelight: A Documentary Film Series In Harlem
(Oct 2018-June 2019)
Films by Firelight was created by Firelight Media to introduce our Harlem community to a diverse range of documentary films that have been directed and produced by the talented filmmakers we work with as part of our flagship program, the Documentary Lab.
We created the DocLab in 2008 to offer artist support to talented first-time filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds. The program extends the work of our co-founder and master documentarian, Stanley Nelson. Our goal is to ensure that the next generation of non-fiction filmmakers representing diverse identities can flourish.
Films by Firelight takes place in Harlem’s beloved large and small film exhibition venues throughout the community. This series focuses on the rich and singular canon of non-fiction film generated from the Documentary Lab along with some classic films, and newer work from Stanley Nelson’s vault. Films are accompanied by lively and frank discussions with the filmmakers, subjects, stakeholders and artists. Films by Firelight is programmed by Jessica Green.