Choking Man

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Choking Man
Choking Man Theatrical Poster
Directed by Steve Barron
Written by Steve Barron
Starring Octavio Gómez Berríos
Eugenia Yuan
Aaron Paul
Mandy Patinkin
Music by Nico Muhly
Cinematography Steve Barron
Edited by Steve Barron
Joshua Zeman
Zachary Mortensen
Distributed by International Film Circuit (USA)
Soda Pictures (UK)
Release date
  • April 2006 (2006-04) (Tribeca Film Festival)
Running time
83 minutes
Country United States
Language English, Spanish

Choking Man[1] is a 2006 drama film, written and directed by Steve Barron. The film stars Octavio Gómez Berríos and Eugenia Yuan.


Choking Man is an intense blend of psychological drama and magical realism that encapsulates the contemporary immigrant experience in America. Jorge (Octavio Gómez Berríos) 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 late uncle, who was truly like a father to him. His uncle was described as being the only caring person in Jorge's life. 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 some newcomers to America experience as they struggle to find a place and purpose in this strange land.


Choking Man had a mixed reception by critics.


The score to Choking Man was composed by Nico Muhly.[2]


  • Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award, 16th Annual Gotham Awards, 2006[3]
  • Best Director, Best Newcomers Octavio Gómez Berríos & Eugenia Yuan, Best Soundtrack Nico Muhly, Special Jury Award, Ibiza International Film Festival, 2007


  1. ^ "'Choking Man (2006)'". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  2. ^ "Nico Muhly". imdb. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  3. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (2006-11-29). "'Half Nelson' tops Gotham Awards (2006)". Variety. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 

External links[edit]