Synopsis by Mark Deming
A young man gains a new perspective on himself and his people during an unexpectedly complicated sojourn in Europe in this independent drama. Daniel (Ash Newman) is a teenager growing up in London; good looking and personable, Daniel enjoys a life of carefree hedonism, but deep inside he feels that something is missing. Daniel has a close relationship with his Jewish grandmother (Hadassah Unger Diamant), who serves as his confidante and conscience. Grandmother persuades Daniel to go to Europe in search of the grave of her late husband, who vanished during the pogroms of World War II. Daniel sets out for Paris, where his grandfather was last seen, but he soon finds himself on a journey that takes him through several nations as he is thrown into a number of unusual adventures. While searching for his grandfather, Daniel learns a great deal about himself and his heritage along the way. Ash Newman's performance in Shem earned him the Best Actor prize at the 2004 New York Independent Film Festival.
Europe, grandmother, grave, heritage, Jewish, journey, meaning-of-life, mission [quest], political-change, search, self-discovery