Cancer Moves Faster than Bureaucracy

When Melissa Bumstead’s daughter received a rare cancer diagnosis at the age of four, their family was devastated. They spent a lot of time in the hospital receiving treatments. And through the course of those treatments, they met a lot of other children with similarly rare cancers. Along the way they started to notice a disturbing trend—most of these sick children lived quite close to the Bumstead’s house, and some, in fact, even lived on their street. With alarm bells ringing, the mothers began to do some digging. And what they discovered was worse than anyone could have imagined. Just miles from their neighborhoods was the site of one of the largest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. If you’re surprised you’ve never heard of it, don’t be. NASA and Boeing have spent endless resources covering up the accident since 1959 and have claimed for decades there are no unsafe conditions around the site. An infuriating and illuminating documentary, IN THE DARK OF THE VALLEY follows this outraged group of mothers as they fight for accountability and action, standing strong against immoral and corrupt institutions. Hell hath no fury like a mother fighting for her children.


—G.S. - Cleveland International Film Festival