Reel-ing The Singapore Culture

Singapore’s movie culture has a rich history with these titles that were proudly made here.

By Kelvin Low      11 February 2020

Singapore broke into the Hollywood spotlight again with Crazy Rich Asians, high in entertainment value, but for a full cultural experience, there are many locally produced movies that accurately depicts Singapore through the decades.

We’ve handpicked several titles that pack an insightful interpretation of our society as well as those that showcase our culture on this island.

Photo Credit: Shaw Organisation.

Money No Enough

Starring: Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Henry Thia

Jack Neo’s satire of the “Singaporean Dream”, which is the pursuit of the 5C’s, sees three good friends getting into deep trouble with their finances and they have to put their heads together to solve their problems. Chew Wah Keong is a white collar worker who loves to buy many items with installments. Ong is a contractor who borrows money from loan sharks. Hui is a coffee shop waiter who is constantly borrowing money from his friends.


Starring: Shaun Tan, Melvin Chen, Erick Chun, Vynn Soh, Melvin Lee

Directed by Royston Tan, the film is an expanded version of Tan’s 2002 award-winning short film, also titled 15. Seen as the most realistic insight to the life of a secret society member, with actual gang names, locations and secret society chants in the original movie. It was first shown at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), and subsequently re-released at a National Museum Singapore screening.

Photo Credit: movieposterdb.com

12 Storeys

Starring: Jack Neo, Koh Boon Pin, Chuan Yi Fong, Lum May Yee, Lucilla Teoh, Ritz Lim

Eric Khoo’s feature film is set in an HDB block and narrates the ordinary yet lives of everyday Singaporeans, such as soup vendor Ah Gu who has trouble pacifying his materialistic “China wife”. The film also follows a suicidal lady who constantly hears the ghost of her mother, an overbearing elder brother with his hands full taking care of his siblings.


SAFRA Tampines Upgrades

Fresh from an improvement, this clubhouse celebrates the new milestone with much fanfare.

Never The Twain Shall Meet?

As two disparate food cultures, Spanish tapas and Asian hotpot could not be more different. Or are they?

Master Commander

Ruminations of National Service and fatherhood.