A woman out of place, caught between the traditionalists and the hippie movement in 1967 California, turns to robbing banks, as she struggles with the unaddressed anxiety of not fulfilling gender expectations of being a wife and mother.
In 1967, San Francisco law secretary B. (played by Emily Somers, Westworld) is a woman out of place, caught between the traditionalists and the hippie movement.
Struggling with unaddressed anxiety stemming from expectations to become a wife and mother, B. drives her Mustang through the Sacramento Valley, cashing counterfeit checks at banks along the way.
When she starts to run low and must reach out to her old admirer Daughtry for help, he refuses to replenish her check supply.
Met with suspicion as a woman traveling alone, B. impulsively picks up a hitchhiking teenage girl. When the girl threatens to blow her cover, B. is forced to decide where she belongs.
Writer & Director Statements
A female anti-hero with a psychological struggle and a desire to find her place in society; an outsider with nothing, and yet everything, to lose, a criminal robbing banks on the run. This is our protagonist B., and creating more roles like B. for audiences and actresses is one of the main reasons I optioned the rights to Into the Valley and adapted it into a script. When I read Ruth Galm's book, I was struck by how familiar it was. I was born in San Francisco, and my mom is from Sacramento. I know the places B. visits, the pit stops, the people in the valley and the children of the debutantes in the city. Some things have not changed much since 1967 when the story takes place. Like B., I grew up in a town where, in the midst of great upper middle class privilege, the expectations were still narrow: go to college, pursue a “sensible" career like law, medicine, or finance, get married and have kids. Despite our differences, I understood B. I was surprised by the parallels between the lives and values of women in the 1960s and the deeply ingrained gender roles and importance we still place on marriage, children, and appearance in modern society. B. is able to get away with her criminal acts largely because of her superficial attributes, which is in stark contrast to how Daughtry, a Mexican-Irish janitor, is perceived by society. B. is struggling with many taboo conditions, including her role as an intentionally single woman, her own anxiety, and her desire for freedom beyond her given options. We need more stories like Ruth's that make us question these deeply ingrained societal stigmas— that force us to ask if B.'s "carsickness" is the sign of an unwell individual or the malignancy of a larger society.
Emily Somers, Writer's Statement