I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Billie Anderson

I Do Not Come to You by Chance offers a compelling premise—examining the complexities and origins of Nigerian prince scams—a subject surprisingly underexplored in cinema. Directed by Ishaya Bako and adapted from Adaobi Nwaubani’s novel of the same name, I Do Not Come to You by Chance offers a profound exploration of poverty, attempting to balance humour and grim reality, while shedding light on the perpetually elusive American dream.

TIFF Note book in forefront with large cinema screen with TIFF logo in background

The film masterfully portrays the cyclical nature of poverty, with mounting bills, relentless familial expectations, and emotional repercussions for seeking financial independence. Its central theme revolves around the compelling allure of exploitation, exemplified by Kingsley (Paul Nnadiekwe) and Uncle Boniface/Cash Daddy (Blossom Chukwujekwu) reaping rewards from exploiting others. Despite Kingsley’s earnest moral efforts, financial prosperity remains elusive.

I Do Not Come to You by Chance starkly confronts viewers with the harsh reality that, in such an unforgiving economic landscape, maintaining one’s ethical compass is often a luxury, where survival necessitates morally challenging decisions.

However, where the film presents a compelling argument for the pervasiveness of poverty, itstops short of fully challenging the system that perpetuates the issues it portrays. I Do Not Come to You by Chance offers a sobering depiction of a world where morality appears to be fading, yet it ultimately withholds a concrete statement about the experience of poverty and the moral dilemmas faced by those failed by the system. There doesn’t need to be a lesson that audiences can learn, but it leaves uncertainty about its overarching message or motivation.

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