Contributed by: Rachel Pafe
Contamination. High levels of cancer. Don’t tell anyone. Sounds like a conspiracy theory only seen in the movies? Correct about the movie part, wrong about the paranoid conspiracy part. Sometimes reality is scarier than the most outlandish fiction.
The documentary Semper Fi: Always Faithful, exposes the very real situation in which the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC, experienced immense levels of water pollution that resulted in high cancer levels. Up to one million people were exposed to tap water, drinking water and showers, which were polluted due to underground storage tanks, industrial spills and irresponsible waste disposal from an off-base dry cleaning company. (Read on for the good news…)
The Good News
Semper Fi has been recognized as a great film, receiving the 2011 Audience Award and Award for Best Documentary at the Woodstock Film Festival, the 2011 Award for Best Documentary at the San Diego Film Festival and the 2012 Ridenhour Prize for Documentary Filmmaking.
The lesson? Documentaries have power. The medium of film has the unique ability to reach a wide audience, promote awareness and transform ignored issues into reality.
So bring on the popcorn, hold the butter, but extra change for the better, please.
Other ideas on docs that have made a difference? Let us know on our Facebook page or tweet us @phbalancedfilms.