Monday, April 17, 7:30 PM
Hotel Coolgardie
(Dir. Pete Gleeson, 2016, Australia, 83 min)

Sometimes humorous, often shocking, Hotel Coolgardie is a wryly-observed journey into an outback Australia rarely depicted on screen.

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 attracted by the idea of an authentic outback experience, Finnish travelers Lina and Steph find themselves en route to a dot on the Western Australia 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 and pilloried by booze-addled patrons, and prey to the madness and malaise of an environment as claustrophobic as it is isolated – the girls soon realize that to meet expectations, they’ll need to do more than just serve drinks.

Like a real-life Wake in Fright, Pete Gleeson’s raucous, unflinching feature documentary debut is an immersive, darkly amusing, unexpectedly moving portrait of small-town insularity, fragile masculinity, and the plight of the outsider who must adapt or face the consequences.