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8 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
New from Used from
(Nov 07, 2006)
"Please retry"

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Disillusioned by his Jewish roots and meaningless life, young Londoner Daniel (Ash Newman) embarks on an unforgettable journey throughout Europe on a quest to find his great grandfather's grave. From city to city, Daniel encounters an exciting myriad of events, finding his true self along the way. Director Caroline Roboh's visually stunning travelogue delves into the core of family traditions and personal discovery.


"It just might send you packing for Eastern Europe." Cyrielle Clair Geraldine de Bastion Istvan Szabo Arturo Brachetti --NY Post

"The supporting characters whom Daniel meets along his journey infuse the film with color and realism."

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Caroline Roboh, Ash Newman, Cyrielle Clair, Istvan Szabo
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HP Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: November 7, 2006
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HT3Q28
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,069 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shem" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By C. Duffy on February 28, 2007
Format: DVD
For many twenty something's entering adulthood nowadays, it's hard to find ones place in society. Daniel, our protagonist in the movie is feeling fed-up and under appreciated with his dead-end job and like many people his age who would love to get away, decides to toss it all to the wind; his job, his income, his partner(s) and take a whirl-wind trip around Eastern Europe to get his mind off his dull dead end, seemingly meaningless life. What he encounters along his journey, contrary to his reasons for leaving however, begin to change his outlook on life and his ancestry. For those who wish to pick up and leave never to look back, Shem may just be what you need to get away, without leaving everything you know.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Wiersma on January 31, 2007
Format: DVD
Beautiful scenes and cinematography and a handsome leading man do not make up for an awkward, disjointed, poorly-developed ride around Eastern Europe in search of a story. Add to that an unlikeable and unsympathetic leading character and you have picture-postcard quality beautiful emptiness, which is this movie.

I got through it hoping that it would have some point or resolution to tie it all together and make the journey worthwhile. It didn't happen. The story isn't here and the character development doesn't happen. You have to watch the extra on the DVD where the director "explains" the movie. It's helpful, as the movie isn't all that clear.

I'd stay away from this. It's a nicely shot and well put-together film in search of a meaning and lacking a story. It's not even worth a rental except maybe to get to see the scenery and shots around Europe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kerjman on May 23, 2009
Format: DVD
Incredibly handsome, sexually attractive for and accepting any gender partners, young Londoner is looking forwrd to opportunities outside his factual local Jewish ghetto-either in employment or sex.

A typically-Jewish clever loving grandmother offered him opportunity to travel Eastern Europe in a search for a grand-grandfather grave, a rabbi of pre-WWII Vienna (rather, some part of Czech regions).

Also financial abilities were of lesser question than possibilities to arrange unsupervised trip in pre-Mandragora part of Europe, with "Jewish luck"-plus-sex peppered, this tale of the modern Eastern European Jewry is a fun to watch-and the ending in Venice, a final is following the suite.

Rich of ideas and intentions, this movie is surely a winner for Asier (Ash) Newman's appearance himself.
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By Darien Wells on November 17, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Daniel, (Ash Newman) is urged by his grandmother to search across all of Europe to locate her fathers grave and end the mystery she wants solved before her death. Too old to make the trip herself, she arms Daniel with a little money and some clues and he hesitantly sets off to unravel the mystery and bring her peace.

His mission was a puzzling one that led him from one dead-end lead to another, where he did manage to locate information about the life his great grandfather lived and learn about the heritage his family posessed. However, as Daniel goes on his way it begins to become more clear throughout the film, that his great grandfather is not really the man his grandmother intended for him to find, but rather to find himself through the experience. She doesn't want to die without knowing Daniel will be able to take care of himself and know what his life is all about. She also wants to makes sure he is aware of his family roots and that this rich heritage may be one he will pass down to future generations, if he can only learn to grasp it and appreciate it.

This was an "OK" film, and it held my attention throughout, however there were places where I got lost and found it hard to figure out. Trying to follow the visual of the film and keep up with the subtitles at the same time, left some moments of confusion. There are films you want to watch over and over again and then there are films like SHEM. For me, one time was enough.

I suppose I had high hopes for this movie that it simply couldn't live up to and I was rather disappointed by the plot which I did not have a good understanding of before viewing it. It was not an unpleasant film to me, and did contain lots of adventure, sights all around Europe with some history and culture that make it a good watch.
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