Films about dystopian near-futures, from “Blade Runner” to “Mad Max,” typically assume that humanity will still be recognizably human, however strange or savage society may be. Similarly, films set in the prehistoric past, from “Caveman” to “Quest for Fire,” may be populated by primitive peoples but they have tribes and languages.
Gen Nagao’s entertaining, imaginative and thought-provoking “Motion Picture: Choke” proposes something different and, as far as I know, unique: a future in which civilization has collapsed and human speech has ceased to exist. Communication is strictly through looks and gestures. Or perhaps it isn’t a future but rather an alternative reality; we don’t know since its inhabitants can’t tell us.
Thankfully, the main protagonist is played by Misa Wada, an indie veteran whose tour de force performance amuses and chills without a single word spoken. Also, though her character’s costume may recall Raquel Welch’s famous fur bikini in “One Million Years B.C.,” she is not a caricature but rather a woman with a full range of emotions, as well as smarts and spunk.