There is a new film opening this weekend about a trans-European investigation into a religious history. No, I'm not talking about The Da Vinci Code. That opened last weekend. The film I'm referring to is called Shem, and it is a much, much smaller release telling the story of a young man as he searches for his Judaic roots.
Written and directed by Caroline Roboh, whose last film, Clémentine Tango, came out over 20 years ago, Shem is also concerned with the sexual adventures of this young man as he travels across the continent. To give a basic sense of the plot, the filmmaker could have titled the picture How I Learned to Stop Screwing Around and Love My Heritage, but instead its simple title is the Hebrew word for "name," which is meant to bear the importance of names for a people who once saw their identities ignored and substituted with numbers.