I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Kate Belford

In spite of a variety of ambiguous themes, Ishaya Bako’s I Do Not Come To You By Chance is a film that inspires empathy in its audience, encouraging viewers to consider the circumstances of the individuals that have wronged them.

The film demonstrates how poverty is a difficult cycle to break, and how far people will go to escape it. In one of the more interesting subplots, Bako explores how wealthy individuals take advantage of those in poverty to obtain power, and how corruption finds the perfect conditions to thrive in impoverished states. While an interesting topic, it is only touched upon briefly, resulting in a feeling that the film is unfinished.

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

Despite exploring a handful of heavy themes, I Do Not Come to You By Chance suffers from a lack of focus that makes the intended message of the film unclear. The seeming lack of focus is a symptom of the film’s lead character, Kingsley, who shares very little information about his mental state with the audience despite narrating a significant portion of the film. In one of the more impactful scenes, Kingsley discovers that it is possible for him to make money simply by sharing the truth of his circumstances as opposed to scamming wealthy foreigners.

However, this moment is never revisited. Instead, the film ends on an ambiguous note, leading viewers scrambling to understand whether Kingsley has truly learned anything at all, and what the ultimate message of the film was.

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