The Obs: A Singapore Story

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Hailed as Singapore’s most important independent band, The Observatory and their brooding, brilliant and confounding music are explored in this quietly contemplative music documentary. More than a band film, THE OBS: A SINGAPORE STORY looks back at the country’s early nation-building period, when local music faced a clampdown by the government and the evolution of culture in a society of censorship.


Leslie Low
Vivian Wang
Victor Low
Evan Tan
Bani Haykal
Mark Dolmont
Debbie Ding
David Toop


Directed, Written, Edited and Produced by

Yeo Siew Hua

Produced by

Adeline Setiawan,
Dan Koh

Music by

The Observatory

Audio Post

Justin Seah


Aaron Ng,
Adeline Setiawan,
Andrew Sobrielo,
Anisah Aidid,
Cain Chui,
Dan Koh,
Elizabeth Lim,
Eric Lee,
Looi Wan Ping,
Nigel Hogan,
Patrick Ong,
Samantha Sng,
Tian Low,
Wu Jun Han,
Yang Vicki,
Yeo Siew Hua


Hussin Ismail,
Jenn Hui,
Yong Rong Zhao,
Patrick Chan,
See Tong Wai


Philipp Aldrup Photography,
Koh Nguang How,
David Ee,
Hoong Wei Long


Original title

The Obs: A Singapore Story

International Title

The Obs: A Singapore Story


98 min / Colour

Aspect Ratio


Screening Format



5.1 Surround Sound, Stereo

Year of Release






Country of production


Production Company

13 Little Pictures

“[A] tale of an alternative Singapore, expressed through the eyes, words and instruments of these incendiary—and at times inscrutable—musicians. It’s a parable of the city, one in which the fury of the common folk bubbles without boiling over.”
—Time Out Singapore

“Must-watch…The story of Singapore’s hardest working and longest-surviving indie band, The Observatory, is told through archival footage and interviews in this contemplative documentary by filmmaker Yeo Siew Hua on what it means to think like an outsider in a society that favours the mainstream.”
—The Business Times

“[An] insightful peek into the band’s development over the years, how it weathered changes in creative direction, to evolve and to produce arguably the local scene’s most inventive music. Not just for the fans, it’s a story about the Singapore experience. Through archival footage and interviews, this is the closest one can get to The Observatory.” —Bandwagon

There was a thriving Singapore music scene since the 1960s and a dynamic underground music culture in the 80s, but it was systematically and violently killed off in the subsequent decade. I wanted to find out what had happened to that vibrant wave of home-grown music I grew up with so I started following the longest surviving musical group, The Observatory, to find out what had happened to that exciting period in our music history that would be soon forgotten without documentation.

Singapore International Film Festival 2014
Fukuoka Asian Film Festival 2014
Cinedays Festival of European Film 2015
Festival of Music Documentaries DORF 2016

© 13 Little Pictures  
We produce and promote films that celebrate cinema with all its diversities.

© 13 Little Pictures