Semper Fi: Always Faithful

Semper Fi: Always Faithful image

(76 min.) USA

Director: Tony Hardmon, Rachel Libert
Producer: Todd Wider, Jedd Wider


Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger was a devoted Marine for nearly twenty-five years. As a drill instructor, he was responsible for indoctrinating new recruits with the motto Semper Fidelis or “Always Faithful”. When Jerry’s nine-year-old daughter died of a rare leukemia, his world was upended and he struggled to make sense of what happened. In his search for answers, he discovered a Marine Corps cover-up of one of the largest water contamination incidents in US history. Semper Fi: Always Faithful follows Jerry’s mission to help thousands of soldiers and their families exposed to toxic chemicals at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune. His fight reveals a grave injustice at Camp Lejeune and a looming environmental crisis at military sites across the country.


Rachel Libert is a New York-based director. Her critically acclaimed documentary Beyond Conviction received a PASS award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Woodstock Film Festival. She made her directing debut with the award-winning short film Undertaker, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It received many awards including a Golden Spire from the San Francisco Film Festival and a national CableACE award for Best Dramatic Short Film. Her broadcast credits include work for MTV, Discovery Health, HBO, Court TV, Food Network and Oxygen. Most recently, she was the executive producer and director of a documentary series on Discovery/Planet Green, which follows the effects of an oil boom on a tiny town in North Dakota.

Tony Hardmon is a veteran cinematographer who has collaborated on several films with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus. These credits include The Execution of Wanda Jean (HBO), Girlhood (TLC), and Juvies (A&E). He also filmed the Emmy-nominated documentary The Boys of Baraka (PBS), which won several awards. His other credits include Michael Moore’s Sicko, Stacy Peralta’s Made In America, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s segment of Freakonomics and the IDA award-winning film A Walk to Beautiful (PBS). He was the additional cinematographer on the Academy Award-nominated Jesus Camp, 12th & Delaware, and the HBO special Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq. He recently worked with Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky on their Sundance Channel series Iconoclasts.