Choking Man is an intense blend of psychological drama and magical realism that encapsulates the contemporary immigrant experience in America.
Jorge (Octavio Gomez Berrios) is a morbidly shy Ecuadorian dishwasher toiling away in a shabby Jamaica, Queens, New York diner run by Rick (Mandy Patinkin). He works all day long in the shadow of the ever-present Heimlich Maneuver instruction poster which hangs in the diner kitchen. From his solitary kitchen corner, Jorge gropes mutely for a bond with Amy (Eugenia Yuan), the newly hired Chinese waitress and even though she tries to reciprocate, the gulf that separates them may be too large. On the job he is continually tormented by his coworker Jerry (Aaron Paul) and at home in his Harlem boarding, under the psychological control of his domineering ‘roommate,’ he battles his inner demons.
Set in the vicinity of JFK airport, the most culturally diverse neighborhood in
the world, Choking Man captures the feeling of
claustrophobia and almost literal asphyxiation newcomers to
America experience as they struggle to find a place and
purpose in this strange land.
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