The acclaimed and controversial Australian documentary Hotel Coolgardie is on its way to Wagga and will tell the story of two foreign backpackers who come to town and work in the bar.
The independent film will screen at Forum 6 Cinemas this July 20.
The documentary premiered at last years’ Sydney Film Festival to a full audience and garnered international recognition for its depiction of two backpackers sent to work at the only pub in a remote Australian mining town.
The Finnish duo were confronted with a culture of alienation and impunity as their working holiday rapidly deteriorated into a test of endurance.
It is a “raw and unfocused experience,” director Pete Gleeson said, and is deeply funny and unsettling at the same time.
”It’s a really illuminating film of what it can feel like if you're a foreigner coming into a new place,” he said,
“The film touches on this sense of larrikinism and masculinity. Those are the things that really get people talking.
“Especially women talking about the experience of being a woman in a hyper-masculine environment.”
The town used to be a thriving and bustling metropolis before 700 mining companies cleared out the gold reserves. Now only 1000 people remain.
As the backpackers navigate the world of their new home, they realise the town is riddled with men who are in limbo with their sense of masculinity, Peter said.
”They try and find a place within this world of the pub,” he said.
“Through that, we find that these men are at odds with the worlds in many ways. These men who are making life hard for the girls have had knocks themselves.
“The armour these men have built around themselves and the masculinity they project is the thing that prevents them from reaching out and connecting.”
The film received four stars from critic David Stratton and is is designed to “speak about concepts of a broad society,” Peter said.
”It’s one of those films that really starts a conversation,” he said.
“The people in film are probably affected by the boom and bust cycle.
“Some are there because the town is their home, others are there to make money. They're the most interesting.”
Hotel Coolgardie will screen at Forum 6 Cinema in Wagga on July 20 from 7pm.
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