Semper Fi: Always Faithful | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Semper Fi: Always Faithful 

A muckraking — and inspirational — doc about one Marine's fight for environmental justice


This documentary from Tony Hardmon and Rachel Libert follows the investigation of former career Marine Jerry Ensminger, as he works to uncover the links between contaminated water at Camp Lejeune Marine Base and the deformities and illnesses suffered by base residents, many of them children. (His own daughter died of leukemia at age 9.) The film is partly an indictment of the Marines, and by extension Congress, for their failure to address the chemical contamination, one of the largest ever in the United States. While their actions are outrageous, proof of cover-up, obfuscation and delay are hardly news for today's cynical populace. But Semper Fi also proves the inspirational exception: One man can make a difference, if that man stays righteously true to his cause. As Ensminger wryly observes, it was the Marines who instilled the "always faithful" fighting spirit in him. The film screens as part of a mini-series of 2011 documentaries shortlisted for the 2012 Oscars. Through Thu., Jan. 19. Harris



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