Foreign Path 2

Review by Olivia Barrett

Sunday 21 April 2024

As the lights dimmed and the theatre quieted, attendees saw a scene all too familiar: the panic of a missed alarm and a dash out the door.

While the opening line did not come for a few minutes, the audience followed one character as he rushes out the door to a job interview. The anticipation of the first words hooked the audience as they waited.

On the third stop of eight for its premiere, Foreign Path 2 welcomed an intimate crowd for its Ottawa debut at Landmark Cinemas in Kanata on Apr. 21.

This film tells the story of a group of recent graduates who came to Canada as international students. As the various members of the group struggle to find jobs due to the lack of Canadian experience and qualifications, among other barriers, they settle for working at a call centre while they wait to explore their true passions, which range from practicing medicine to owning their own business.

For the director, Emmanuel Ilondior, Foreign Path 2 felt like a needed film. “This is the story I really wanted to tell,” he said. As someone who came to Canada as an international student, Ilondior said he knows first-hand how hard it can be for individuals starting their lives in Canada. He explained that the first movie in this series served as a set-up for Foreign Path 2 as it explored the changes international students have to navigate with the school system, such as the exam weighting.

After noticing many others struggling with many of the same issues he did,  Ilondior decided to share this story. “That’s what really inspired Foreign Path: all having similar struggles, struggling with the system,” he said.

Foreign Path 2 dealt with the difficult topics of the uncertainty new graduates face, especially those who come to Canada as international students, in a careful way, while also providing a message of hope and community.

The film showed how reaching out for help within your community can go a long way. These characters showed a level of vulnerability that is not talked about when it comes to the struggles new graduates face. Throughout the film, when the group is together, they talk about the barriers and dilemmas they face while providing help in the form of advice and compassion.

When Tunde gets his first paycheque from the call centre and starts talking about all of the things he wants to do with it, the group is happy for him, but cautions against getting ahead of himself by feeling like he needs to send the money back home to his family. They told him to take care of himself and get set up first, before looking at other things to do with his money.

This scene felt important because it is something that is taboo in diaspora communities, many feel the need to help out back home before they can take care of themselves.

Foreign Path 2 balanced serious situations, such as issues with the law, with humour, hope and inspiration. Ilondior, the film’s director and one of the lead actors, made use of the beautiful scenery of Calgary through a range of shots. From aerial to go-pro to close ups, the film’s range of shots made the story more interesting by showing a range of perspectives.

Despite the film centering around Tunde and Benjamin, these characters were introduced after a series of characters, and their individual stories took slightly longer to get to, making it somewhat unclear who the focus was. 

Regardless of this, all of the characters’ stories were woven together well. The film gave each story enough context to understand each character’s relevance and did not leave any characters out.

Click on the links below to view the movie trailers:

Foreign Path 2 Movie Trailer

Foreign Path 2 Extended Trailer