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Choking Man (2006)

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The social anxiety of a morbidly shy Ecuadorian dishwasher working in a Queens diner provides the psychological engine that powers this blend of drama and magical realism.



1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Buddeke ...
Dutch Man
Stand-In Chef
Choking Man
Subway Man
Philip Levy ...
Middle-Aged Customer
John Anthony Ferrara ...
Spoiled Brat
Ruth Yaffe ...
Female Diner (as Ruth Jaffe)
Mitchell Greenberg ...


Choking Man is an intense blend of psychological drama and magical realism that encapsulates the contemporary immigrant experience in America. Jorge is a morbidly shy Ecuadorian dishwasher toiling away in a shabby Jamaica, Queens, New York diner run by Rick. 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, 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 and at home in his Harlem boarding, under the psychological control of his domineering 'roomate,' 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 ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ecuadorian | social anxiety | See All (2) »




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Release Date:

14 November 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Lanchonete Olympia  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,189 (USA) (2 November 2007)


$4,189 (USA) (2 November 2007)

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Brian Scibinico
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User Reviews

Unpretentious story that advances slowly but assuredly to an anti-climax
2 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A simple story of an Ecuadorian young man earning a living as a dishwasher at a diner in Queens, New York. Above the dishwashing station, a standard poster on how to deal with a choking person. The young man sees that everyday and it becomes clear that this will have a part to play somewhere.

Among other characters, an American cook and an oriental waitress complete a sort of potential love triangle. Much of the film is spent around the trio and life at the diner. Near the end, if feels a tad too long, but be patient. What's cute about the plot is that the ending is amusingly anti-climatic. You'll have to see for yourself.

A true American indie. Done with a US$400K budget.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Very nearly anticlimactic...but not - I sort of love this film lenscap1
Jorge's roommate...and the choking scene sam_i_am-1
movies like this lilshawtyoo9
Info on where this was filmed vitae666
What the rabbit imagery mean? jlindholm2000
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