Award-winning documentary creating buzz on decades-long battle to clean up the radioactive and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory

MSNBC Films is doing an encore screening of In the Dark of the Valley this Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 5:00 PM (PST) / 8:00 PM (EST). MSNBC has corrected its audio malfunction which impacted the film’s debut last week.

The award-winning documentary is also streaming on MSNBC’s app, the NBC website, or Hulu Live. (Pro tip: If possible, the best way to view this festival award-winning film is to record it Sunday in order to skip the commercials.)

In the Dark of the Valley has been generating buzz since Variety announced MSNBC’s acquisition of the documentary October 7.

Kim Kardashian West tweeted the day of the premiere, November 14, exhorting people to watch the film. In the Dark of the Valley also already has its own IMDB page. will add to the below list of documentary-related links as they develop. The best source of all is the filmmakers’ In the Dark of the Valley website which has substantial information presented with the same verve and excellence as this documentary.

Now that MSNBC’s sound issue has been fixed, viewers will be able to hear the moving and mind-blowing testimony of the people whose lives have been forever changed by the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

Denise Duffield & Melissa Bumstead – In the Dark of the Valley – Courtesy MSNBC Films

Santa Monica-based KCRW public radio aired two segments November 17 that focused on Los Angeles journalistic legend Warren Olney uncovering the issue back in 1979 and another asking Why is there still no clean-up of 1959 nuclear meltdown at Santa Susana?

Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles Board President Dr. Bob Dodge, who is featured in the film, penned this piece for Common Dreams on November 12: Maternal Instinct Protecting Our Children’s Lives—An MSNBC Premiere Documentary.

MSNBC’s Joy Reid of THE REIDOUT broadcast an interview with the film’s Melissa Bumstead called “MSNBC’s ‘In the Dark of the Valley’ documents parents finding cancer cases near nuclear lab” November 10. The transcript was also made available.

The Los Angeles Times wrote about the documentary in its Boiling Point newsletter on May 20: The dark legacy of a nuclear meltdown, and what it means for climate change.

In the Dark of the Valley’s Melissa Bumstead, Lauren Hammersley, John Pace and Denise Duffield – Courtesy MSNBC Films

25 Years of Award-Winning SSFL/Rocketdyne Reporting



    Due to the senseless tragedy that took place in Waukesha, Wisconsin this past Sunday,
    MSNBC has rescheduled its airing of In the Dark of the Valley. The film will re-air on:

    Friday, November 26th at 10pm ET / 7pm PT

    The documentary is also available on-demand on the MSNBC app, NBC app, and Hulu Plus.
    In the Dark of the Valley follows a group of Southern California mothers who discover that the nearby Santa Susana Field Laboratory is one of the most radioactive and chemically contaminated sites in the world – and neglect from the property owners may have exposed the community to decades worth of cancer-causing hazardous waste.

    In the Dark of the Valley - MSNBC Films

  2. Dear friends and colleagues,

    Tonight at 5 pm Pacific / 8 pm Eastern, MSNBC will rebroadcast “In the Dark of the Valley,” a documentary about the contaminated Santa Susana Field Lab near Los Angeles and its impact on local families. It’s an incredibly powerful film that won Best Documentary at the Phoenix Film Festival, Catalina Film Festival, and Ojai Film Festival, where it also won the People’s Choice award, the first time in the festival’s history that a film has won both awards. It also won Best Documentary, Best Directing, and Best Editing at the Angeles Documentaries.

    If you haven’t yet, I urge you to watch “In the Dark of the Valley” tonight on MSNBC or record and watch later (which gives the bonus of being able to skip through commercials.) MSNBC has corrected its audio issues that impacted the airing last week. The film can also be viewed at any time (with commercials) via:

    *** The MSNBC app – you’ll need to log-in with your TV/Cable provider info.
    *** Streaming services that offer cable channels, such as YouTube TV, Fubo, will also have an MSNBC or NBC channel. On Roku, it’s the NBC channel.
    *** NBC’s website – you’ll need to log-in with your TV/Cable provider info. or click “sign up”
    *** Hulu (the Hulu + Live TV package)

    Last week I offered some personal reflections about the film. Today I want to offer a few more reasons about why it’s important to see this film and urge others to view it as well:

    *** This film rips back the curtain on how polluters get away with their misdeeds – misdeeds that shatter lives with illness, suffering, and death. And not just at SSFL, but at other nuclear sites throughout the country. Boeing, DOE, NASA, and DTSC don’t want this film to get publicity or have a wide viewership. Please help us deny them their wish.
    *** The SSFL cleanup is about to go up in flames. Agreements to fully clean up SSFL contamination are being violated and DTSC is in secret negotiations with Boeing to dramatically weaken the cleanup. We need as many people as possible to watch the film, help us promote it, and take action. If you live in California, go to to urge Governor Newsom to stop the Boeing deal.
    *** Wherever you live, please urge your Congressional representatives — and your media contacts — to watch this film. Far too little attention is paid to frontline nuclear communities, be they near nuclear weapons, power, or waste facilities. In many cases the Dept. of Energy is the culprit and federal officials must demand accountability. The film includes footage of DOE hearings where Members of Congress speak out, but we need more than talk. We need action.

    All of us involved in the SSFL cleanup fight have been deeply touched by illness and loss in the community. After the film aired last week, we received many more messages from people who have been harmed by SSFL — community members and their families, former workers, adult children of former workers. Most simply want to be counted, to talk about their or their loved ones’ lives, to bear witness to the tragedy and outrage that is SSFL. The enormity of it all is hard to bear, but as a community and as a country, we should not look away. Please honor the victims of SSFL and other nuclear sites, and all those fighting for cleanup at SSFL and elsewhere, by watching “In the Dark of the Valley” and urging others to watch it as well.

    Then take action.



    Denise Duffield
    Associate Director
    Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles

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