On a dusty highway between Australia's most isolated city and its largest gold pit lies Coolgardie - where the arrival every three months of a new pair of foreign backpackers to work the ...
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On a dusty highway between Australia's most isolated city and its largest gold pit lies Coolgardie - where the arrival every three months of a new pair of foreign backpackers to work the only bar in town is a keenly anticipated event. Fresh off the plane and lured by the promise of an authentic outback experience, Finnish travellers Lina and Steph find themselves en route to a dot on the map - to pour beers, replenish depleted travel funds, and live amongst the locals. But their working holiday quickly deteriorates into a baptism of fire. Harangued by their new boss, relentlessly pursued by booze-addled patrons, and prey to the madness and malaise of an environment as claustrophobic as it is isolated - the girls soon realise that to meet expectations out here, they'll need to do more than just serve drinks.
Hotel Coolgardie is an engaging, human tale that follows two Finnish travelers in the Australian outback. Following the theift of their credit cards they are forced to find work in a small mining town east of Perth where lodging is provided. In this isolated and harsh environment, Lina and Steph encounter continunous drunken, chauvinistic behaviour from the patrons (and bar manager for that matter), behaviour the two outgoing barmaids seemed to imbrace. To Lina and Steph's credit they handle their work under these horrible conditions with grace and even form bonds with some of the locals, Lina in particular.
While the sexism on display is predictable and uncomfortable to watch, there's also a loneliness and sadness to the locals portrayed. Some of the drunken interactions are amusingly cringeworthy, with their macho behaviour exposed to be very fragile at times. I almost felt a degree of sympathy for them.
This was a moving, well paced documentary where I felt genuine care for the two travellers. I would thoughorly recommend. 8.5/10
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