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Documentary uncovers government surveillance of Chicago neighborhood

Sep 12, 2019
A still from "The Feeling of Being Watched" (2018).

ROCKLAND — On Thursday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m., the Rockland Public Library presents a documentary film screening of the 2018 film "The Feeling of Being Watched," directed by Assia Boundaoui. The run time is 1 hr. 27 min. The screening is a collaboration with “POV,” PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series.

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. The film 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.

The screening is free and open to the public. Rockland Public Library is located at 80 Union St. For more information, call 594-0310.

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