Cucalorus Film Delves into Lejeune's Poisoned Water

Nov 11, 2011

The Cucalorus Film Festival is bringing several documentary films to Wilmington, including Semper Fi: Always Faithful, about the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

From 1957 to 1987, wells at Camp Lejeune contained benzene and other known carcinogens, which can cause rare forms of cancer and birth defects.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss spoke with co-director Rachel Libert about the movie which profiles several people affected by the water, including Denita McCall, a marine who lived on base and was diagnosed with cancer during filming. The feature begins with audio of Denita reading a doctor's note.

Semper Fi: Always Faithful is screening Saturday afternoon for Cucalorus at 4 in the Thalian Black Theater. There will also be a free community screening of the movie in Jacksonville on Sunday at 3 at Northside High School.    

Check out the trailer:

Along with Denita, the movie profiles Jerry Ensminger, who served as a Marine and lived at Camp Lejeune when his daughter Janey was conceived in 1975. In 1983, Ensminger lost Janey to childhood leukemia. View more of Ensminger's story in this clip from Semper Fi: Always Faithful.

After more than a decade of advocating for the rights of those affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, Ensminger was asked to speak at a Congressional hearing. View footage of that hearing:

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