Two female backpackers get more than they bargained for working in a remote Australian town
In remotest red-dust Australia is the sleepy mining town of Coolgardie. When two Finnish girls take jobs in the town's only pub, they find themselves in a trial of endurance. Full of raucous drinkers and ogling patrons, the girls soon realise that pouring pints is the least of their work. Amusing, disturbing, and thoroughly bizarre, this candid documentary reveals the struggles of adapting to life in an insular community.
"New girls tonite," reads the sign outside the bar as Lina and Stephanie arrive in Coolgardie. With no idea what to expect, the prospect of work has drawn the two to this far-flung part of Australia after running out of money on their travels. What greets them is a baptism of fire. “They’re all bloody blokes and they’re all as rough as bags,” Pete the proprietor tells them. The wisdom of his words is soon revealed as they are confronted by the unabashed lechery and dipsomania of the pub’s colourful clientele from their very first shift.
“They are whistling, they are, like, screaming disgusting things,” Lina laments. Stephanie tries to take a stoical approach: “I don’t stress about it, just let it go. Don’t listen to them.” As a town populated predominantly by men, who work at the mine, the two young women certainly receive a lot of attention, and more than their fair share of indecent proposals. “Mum wouldn’t want to see this,” Lina tells us.
Many of the men make no attempt to hide their feelings. "I care about you more than you know," one man tells Lina, after she finds him drunk and asleep in her apartment above the pub. Another asks the two: "You don’t want to just sleep together and have a massive gang bang?" Unsurprisingly, these propositions, among many more, do not win them over.
As the weeks go by, Lina and Stephanie gradually acclimatise to the pace of the place, where they must navigate the ennui of long hot days and the fervour of wild drunken nights. However, it is no easy adjustment and they demand sympathy in their efforts to to fit in to a community that very much lives up to its own set of standards.
Official Selection - Hot Docs 2016
Official Selection - FICM
Official Selection - AFI
Ariel 2015 WINNER - Best Documentary, Best Original Score
13th Moriela International Film Festival - Guerrerro Press Award