Into the Valley Image

Into the Valley

By Chris Salce | February 27, 2024

Director Emily Sandifer and screenwriter/actor Emily Somers team up for the short film Into the Valley, based on a novel by Ruth Galm. The film centers on a woman in 1967 caught between being a traditionalist and the hippie movement. She eventually turns to robbing banks while dealing with her conflict about becoming an ideal woman.

B. (Emily Somers) is a vagabond, constantly on the road away from the life she once knew. She travels from small town to small town, looking for the next bank to rob. While doing so, she still has one foot in the traditional life as she struggles with who she should be, yet she is contacting a man who is helping her live a life of crime. During a trip to another town, B. meets a hippie drifter who catches onto her. The drifter wants to be a part of this exhilarating life.

“…turns to robbing banks while dealing with her conflict about becoming an ideal woman.”

I am not familiar with Ruth Galm’s novel of the same name, so I cannot speak on how accurate Into the Valley is to the book. But I can say that this story is compelling enough to make me want to read the novel. Even though we get little flashbacks of B.’s ideal life, I want to know more about where she comes from as there is much more that we don’t know about this character. Given the 22-minute runtime, we only see a limited amount of where B. comes from, but we see enough of the character to know who she is.

On a personal note, the drifter is from Fontana, California, a place that I am very familiar with as I grew up in the little-known city. The little details of Fontana Sandier capture make this film even more enjoyable for me. The setting is pretty spot on, from the music to the automobiles used during the era. Even the backgrounds look great, as you easily feel that you’re in the 1960s, with all the retro signs and buildings completing the overall look.

The two Emilys do great work throughout Into the Valley. They’re not making up a problem that did not exist back then to relate it to today’s times, as we often see. There’s no gender-bashing of any sort, and that definitely helps make this more enjoyable. It is a story that anyone can relate to when coming from a traditional background yet trying to find their place in this crazy world regardless of gender. It is a great-looking film with an intriguing story.

Into the Valley (2024)

Directed: Emily Sandifer

Written: Emily Somers

Starring: Emily Somers, Monique Ward Lonergan, Sam Gipson, Bob Greene, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Into the Valley Image

"…a great-looking film with an intriguing story."

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