Every day, women face an onslaught of unwanted male attention, but most people fail to grasp the magnitude of damage this toxic culture fosters. The new documentary “Hotel Coolgardie” follows two young female backpackers from Finland, Lina and Steph, who work the only pub in the small town of Coolgardie, Australia’s most remote city. Treated as rare commodities in this atmosphere of simmering hyper-masculinity, Lina and Steph walk a tightrope between keeping the male patrons happy and protecting themselves against their relentless advances and propositions.
The portrait of this isolated tumbleweed town examines the perpetual power struggle between sexes, and the toll of constant harassment takes on the human psyche. Watch an exclusive clip from the film below.
This is Gleeson’s first feature-length documentary. His short documentary “Something To Tell You” received widespread critical acclaim in 2011, including an Honorable Mention from the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival jury and a nomination for Most Outstanding New Documentary Talent at the Australian International Documentary Conference. It’s now used in Australian schools as an educational tool.
“Hotel Coolgardie” premiered at last year’s Hot Docs International Film Festival. It screens at the Slamdance Film Festival on Monday, January 23 at 3 p.m. and on Thursday, January 26 at 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Slamdance Festival official website.