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Hot Docs 2016 Review: “Hotel Coolgardie” (2016) ★★★★


Remember the film “Dogville” directed by Lars Von Trier? There was an interesting line Grace delivers where she states that, “There is one city in the world which does not deserve to ever exist, and that’s Dogville”. By bringing up this line in my review it does not mean that the same line applies to this film. However, I found similarities in the real people of Coolgardie which had really terrified me in “Dogville”. For that, there is no need to share the same fate Grace had, but at least to acknowledge that something really strange with this people is really happening….

The opening credit of “Hotel Coolgardie” is where we read the following, “after having their credit cards stolen in Bali and their travel savings drained from their accounts, Lina and Stephanie have arrived in Perth looking for work”. In that exact moment you find yourself curious as to what may happen next with these two young women? Lina and Stephanie gladly agree to work in a local pub without even knowing what awaits them in the next four weeks.

As you watch the film, it reminds you of a horror film with no blood or violent scenes. It’s enough to see how Lina and Stephanie were treated by the people of remote town, which seems to have their own rules around. It’s not like the two girls are forced to do something unthinkable to protect themselves, however, they are forced to play by the local rule in order to survive.

Film “Hotel Coolgardie” unexpectedly delivers a quality that I did not really expect. While the story itself did not attract me in the beginning, however, as I started watching it, I was less worring about time while kept myself busy with the storyline that was somewhat engaging. Director it seems was courageous while was filming it, as it has no such scene that’d make you question yourself whether the story was so important to be told or it’d been better if it did make no sense to you. Luckily, Pete Gleeson, who directs and edits the film leaves everything irrelevant behind, leaving us to face the fact that such inexplicable disrespect towards women still happens in a wonderful country like Australia.

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