Synopsis by Mark Deming
A man finds himself caught between several worlds -- rough real life and a number of parallel fantasy lands -- in this blend of drama and fantasy. Jorge (Octavio Gómez Berríos) is a painfully shy young man from Ecuador who has immigrated to the United States. Jorge keeps body and soul together by washing dishes at a greasy-spoon diner in a Queens, NY neighborhood that's dominated by a wide variety of fellow immigrants. Jorge spends most of his days at work being harassed by Rick (Mandy Patinkin), the diner's owner, and loud-mouthed manager Jerry (Aaron Paul). One of the only people at the diner who shows any kindness to Jorge is Amy (Eugenia Yuan), an Asian waitress, and Jorge has become deeply infatuated with her. However, Jerry also has his eyes on Amy, only adding to the tension between him and Jorge. As Jorge struggles to escape his grim circumstances, he passes into a variety of alternate realities, ranging from a pastel-colored wonderland ruled by animated bunnies to a grassy sylvan landscape past a fence. Choking Man was written and directed by Steve Barron, best known for his groundbreaking work in music videos; the film received its world premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.
anxiety, dishwasher, immigrant, restaurant, shyness, waiter