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Four must-watch movies you cannot watch in Singapore

To Singapore With Love, Tan Pin Pin, Monty Python's Life of Brian, The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi, Dr Lim Hock Siew, Martyn See, banned movies in Singapore, banned in Singapore, MDA, MDA movies

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There's a reason why these movies are banned.

While there are many great movies coming out this year, some have yet to reach Singapore's shores.

Banned for various reasons, some of these movies are made for entertainment while others are thought-provoking works of art that will leave you pondering about Singapore's political system.

Here are four movies the Singapore government doesn't want you to see.

1. To Singapore, with Love (2013)

Reason for ban: "Undermined national security"

banned movies singapore
TAN PIN PIN INTERVIEWED POLITICAL EXILES ABOUT THEIR LONGING TO BE HOME.
PHOTO CREDIT: TO SINGAPORE WITH LOVE FACEBOOK PAGE

To Singapore, with Love has gone through many appeals with the Media Development Authority (MDA) but has yet to see the silver screen in Singapore, due to its political standpoint.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Tan Pin Pin, the documentary features Singaporean political exiles that have not returned to the home they were born and raised in their whole lives.

She intended to depict the personal stories and emotions of people who have been away from Singapore for a long time while giving a balanced view. However, it was seen as "a one-sided account" by the MDA.

The movie isn't just justifications of their innocence; it goes deeper into the emotional aspects of being away from their homeland. As they look over Singapore's horizons from Malaysia, their desire and yearning to visit their home are expressed deeply on their faces.

This movie will make you think about how you might react if you were sent off as an exile, away from your friends and family.

2. Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)

Reason for ban: Inappropriate religious content

 banned movies singapore

THE MOVIE WAS BANNED IN SINGAPORE SINCE ITS RELEASE. HOWEVER, YOU CAN WATCH SOME SCENES ON YOUTUBE.
PHOTO CREDIT: LUNAFLIX.CO.UK

This movie revolves around Brian Cohen, who was born on the original Christmas, which is the same time as Jesus. He gets mistaken for the Messiah and spends his whole life living in this misunderstanding.

While it may not be everyone's cup of tea, Life of Brian provides a satirical take on the religious stories that have brought controversy in the early 80s, such as the scene where Brian is sentenced to death by crucifixion along with the 139 other victims and they start singing the iconic song, 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life'.

Some argued that the movie was religiously insensitive, while others (Christians included) believed that it wasn't blasphemous or offensive, and that we should learn to laugh at ourselves once in a while.

In a nutshell, it can be offensive humour or just intelligent comedy.

3. The Evil Dead (1981)

Reason for ban: Excessive graphic violence and gore

banned movies singapore
THE MOVIE WAS MADE BY HORROR FLICK DRAG ME TO HELL DIRECTOR, SAM RAIMI. 
PHOTO CREDIT: ICONSOFFRIGHT.COM

The Evil Dead is based on five friends who travel into the woods and find the 'Book of the Dead', which summoned the demons and evil spirits upon them. Due to its overly graphic and gory content, the budget horror movie was banned in several countries such as Finland and Iceland.

A pity, though, as it has been dubbed as one of the best horror movies of all time, garnering a 95 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Director Sam Raimi released a remake in 2013, but nothing beats the original.

I highly discourage the fainthearted from watching this, but if you are up for a bloody night, I dare you to do so.

4. Dr Lim Hock Siew (2010)

Reason for ban: "Against the public interest"


THE WHOLE MOVIE, WHICH ONLY FEATURED HIS SPEECH, IS A STORY WORTH LISTENING TO.

This movie tells the story of the late Dr Lim Hock Siew, Singapore's second longest held political prisoner. He was arrested in 1963 during Operation Coldstore, a massive security crackdown, for his alleged communist activities.

So, what's the big deal? Well, he was detained without trial. Nine years into his imprisonment, he was given an offer to be released – if he made a statement that he fully supported the democratic system in Singapore and agreed to never participate in politics ever again.

He refused and was detained for another decade behind bars. He then made his first public speech in 2009 which was filmed and directed by Singaporean filmmaker, Martyn See. The video was then banned in 2010, two years before Dr Lim's passing.

It is a remarkable story that opens new perspectives about our political system only few know of.

BANNER PHOTO CREDIT: DERELICPLACES.CO.UK