- Colin Fraser
When Finnish backpackers sign up to work in an outback pub, they discover life beyond the tourist brochure.
AUSTRALIAN DOCUMENTARY #HOTELCOOLGARDIE
Shining a bright light on a corner of Australia best left in the dark, it’s unlikely the Coolgardie Tourist Board will be showing this film anytime soon. An hour outside Kalgoorlie is the dusty intersection of Coolgardie and its now infamous watering hole. The ‘woofer’ bar staff, two good time girls from Britain, have done their stint and are being replaced by a couple of Finnish backpackers. We know the newbies are in trouble from the start, if the publican’s request for sheilas with looks and tits above hospitality skills is anything to go by. It is: he’s a monster and the Finns have no idea what they’re letting themselves in for. So starts this challenging fly-on-the-wall documentary about outback life inside the Hotel Coolgardie. The rough-as-guts reality of this small community of one thousand deadbeats and alcoholics is exactly what you’d expect, with only the occasional diamond glinting in the recesses of a coal black town. Eyes wide in horror, the Finns plan their escape while navigating a cavalcade of grotesques, by night and day, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. This nightmare of a story, the lovechild of Sylvania Waters and WOLF CREEK, transfixes like a cobra in a car crash to show there’s more than one way to kill a backpacker in the outback.