On a dusty highway somewhere between Perth and Western Australia’s largest gold mines lies Coolgardie, a tiny outback town with with pub and, seemingly, not a whole lot else.
When Finnish backpackers Lina and Stephie decided to head to Australia for the “trip of a lifetime” it’s not quite where they expected to end up.
Hoping to recoup travel funds and have an “authentic” Aussie experience, the women landed a gig working as bartenders at the Hotel Coolgardie, which, admittedly, they’d never heard of.
They quickly discovered they were just the latest in a long line of young female employees at the pub where they were used by their boss and abused by the piss-addled patronage.
The locals eagerly anticipating the arrival Lina and Stephie's arrival. Source: Hot Docs
All the drama of their Outback stint was captured on camera and is the subject of Hotel Coolgardie, a documentary currently showing at the Sydney Film Festival.
Labelled "fresh meat" by locals, Lina and Stephie fast learn to deflect the near-constant pick up attempts from pub-goers who make a game out of trying to sleep with them.
"If we have sex it will be bad but it will be very quick," one bar-fly proffers.
At one point the girls are shown a photo album full of naked former-bartenders— the pub has a three-month staff turnover, by the way.
They endure some truly impressive (if occasionally amusing) sexism with just a sprinkle of casual racism.