Javascript Menu by

Bullfrog Films

610-779-8226; 800-543-3764; P.O. Box 149 Oley, PA 19547
Email ListRss Info
Bookmark and Share
Bullfrog Films

is a leading source of educational DVDs & videos, with a collection of over 700 titles in these main subject areas:

  Climate Change
  Social Justice
  Developing World
  Indigenous Peoples
  Earth Science
  Life Science
  Political Science
  Performing Arts
  Women’s Studies
  Children’s Films
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .

Our site enables you to order securely online with a credit card or purchase order, or you can use our printable order form for faxing or mailing.
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Receive occasional notice of our new releases and special offers. Your address won’t be traded or sold.

The Greening of Southie

The story of Boston's first LEED-certified residential green building, and the people who made it possible.

A printer-friendly version of this page 72 minutes
Closed Captioned

Directed by Ian Cheney
Produced by Curt Ellis
Director of Photography: Taylor Gentry
Editor: Ian Cheney
Music: Force Theory
Animation: Claire Cheney
Produced by Wicked Delicate Films

"I cannot recommend this film enough to anyone who is or wants to be a part of green building." Joel Bittle,
In the traditionally Irish-American working-class neighborhood of South Boston, MA, a new kind of building has taken shape. From wheatboard cabinetry to recycled steel, bamboo flooring to dual-flush toilets, the Macallen building is something different: a leader in the emerging field of environmentally friendly design.

But Boston's steel-toed union workers aren't sure they like it. And when things on the building start to go wrong, the young developer has to keep the project from unraveling.

Building Boston's first LEED Gold-certified building turns out to be harder than anyone thought. Yet among the I-beams and brickwork emerges a small cadre of unlikely environmentalists who come to connect their work with the future of their children and the future of our cities.

Created by the co-producers and stars of King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis.

[Note: For community screenings of THE GREENING OF SOUTHIE please email us at]

Grade Level: Grades 7 - 12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2008     Copyright Date: 2007
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-766-3

"This inspiring film...argues for widespread adoption of green building practices, while still presenting the contradictions and quandaries...and revels in the greening of southern Boston's construction workers, born skeptics who rise to the occasion."
True/False Film Fest Program

"If the idea of watching a documentary on the construction of a condo building doesn't sound too exciting to you, I cannot recommend this film enough to anyone who is or wants to be a part of green building. It presents the challenges and excitement of building green with equal measures of idealism and cynicism, juxtaposing the suits who see the project as ideas and paper with the laborers who actually have to put the building together. As the project grows, the two come closer to understanding the other side."
Joel Bittle,

"A balanced but incisive look at a complex issue that affects us all."

"Like the community it portrays, The Greening of Southie is both gritty and engaging. Not so long ago, the only thing green about South Boston was its proud Irish-American population, with barely a street tree or patch of grass visible among Southie's rowhouses and storefronts. Greening shows the human side of the green building story, the homely hopes, fears and frustrations behind the fancy facades and sleek solar panels that many of us, especially in Southie, associate with sustainability. Ultimately, Greening tells the story of change and of one neighborhood's tentative, if ineluctable, step toward the future."
William Shutkin, Chair in Sustainability, University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business, Author, The Land That Could Be: Environmentalism and Democracy in the Twenty First Century

"Cities such as LA and San Francisco are vying to be the 'greenest' big city in California. But what does it take to 'embrace green'?...The challenges of building green involve more than changing the practices of the building industry; they also include important social and political issues regarding who gets to live in our downtown neighborhoods. Interviews around the neighborhood show this broader context of urban redevelopment. This thoughtful and thought provoking film deserves to be seen widely."
Greg Andranovich, Professor of Political Science, California State University, Los Angeles

"An insider's perspective...The film does not skirt the issues of economics or the social impact of gentrification in this rapidly changing community. For individuals with an interest in green building, Greening of Southie provides a primer on the LEED certification process as well as a social commentary on this growing trend in construction."
Hilary Nixon, Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, San Jose State University

"For laypeople and students, The Greening of Southie unlocks the mysteries of what constitutes LEED certification. More importantly, the film also analyzes both the benefits and the hidden contradictions of the LEED program. To their credit, the filmmakers do so objectively, letting the key players in the construction of Boston's first 'green' building speak for themselves. The film thus humanizes the construction story through rich portraits of certain project developers, architects, construction workers and potential tenants. In so doing, it uniquely addresses the myriad (and also often hidden) social implications of today's 'green wave', including class inequality and conflict, urban gentrification and the costs of even environmentally conscious consumerism."
Melissa Checker, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, Queens College, Author, Polluted Promises: Environmental Racism and the Search for Justice in a Southern Town

"It is easy to see why this unique documentary has received so many awards and it is a wonderful primer on 'building green' for general audiences as well as classroom use. Highly recommended for high-school, college, and public libraries."
Barbara Butler, University of Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, Educational Media Reviews Online

"An engaging documentary that offers an exciting glimpse into the future of Earth-friendly construction...Literally a globetrotting affair that forcuses on the materials and personnel involved in the design and construction of the Macallen building...Recommended."
Video Librarian, voted Video Librarian's Best Documentaries of the Year 2009 List

"A new film about green jobs that deserves the widest possible audience...Is particularly remarkable as a film about environmental issues that deals directly and honestly with class as well...As President Obama promises to make creation of green jobs a major priority, The Greening of Southie is an entertaining and provocative tool for staring discussion in almost any setting."
Matt Witt, World Wide Work

"Recommended for those interested in the environmental aspects of city planning."
Library Journal

"Veteran contractors and construction workers skeptically grapple with the challenges of eco-friendly building, while residents overcome their own resistance to the development. Creative...compelling."
Yes! Magazine

"The documentary pulls no punches, and confronts head-on the sometimes hypocritical guidelines of environmentalism. Honest and yet always conscious of the nature of the relatively new Green Design frontier, this film weaves a narrative that makes you feel like you've witnessed the ups and downs of a beloved character growing up before your eyes. It is a great look at a pioneering event for those familiar with sustainable design as well as those who don't recycle. Yet."
Erin Duplessis,

"Creative cinematography...compelling."
Yes! Magazine

Select your institution type

DVDs include public performance rights.

DVD Features
includes 2 versions of the film. The original version is 72 minutes long; the short version 46 minutes. Both are closed captioned and include chapters. Both include optional "bleeped" versions for classroom use.

The film's website

Awards and Festivals
Bronze Plaque and Central Ohio Green Education Award, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
Video Librarian's Best Documentaries of the Year 2009 List
Earth Day Selection, "The Green", Sundance Channel
True/False Film Fest
Seattle International Film Festival
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
Ashland Independent Film Festival
Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival
American Conservation Film Festival
Independent Film Festival of Boston
Rhode Island International Film Festival
Black Bear Film Festival
Princeton Environmental Film Festival
Camden International Film Festival
Sonoma Environmental Film Festival
Berks Movie Madness Film Festival
Reel Work Labor Film Festival
Cottonwood Creek Environmental Film Festival
Wisconsin Film Festival
Tales from Planet Earth Film Festival
RioFest Environmental Film Festival
CNEX Documentary Film Festival, Seoul

American Studies
Green Building
Labor and Work Issues
Renewable Energy

Urban Studies
Urban and Regional Planning
Vocational Education

Related Titles

Build Green
David Suzuki reports on a wide range of green buildings, from large community developments to mini-homes.

Biophilic Design
A design revolution that connects buildings to the natural world, buildings where people feel and perform better.

Designing A Great Neighborhood
A model co-housing project, where future residents participate in the design of their own neighborhood.

Aboriginal Architecture
New structures in seven North American Native communities that reinterpret traditional forms for contemporary purposes.

Edens Lost and Found
4-part series that highlights models for urban transformation in the effort to make Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Seattle into sustainable cities.

Everything's Cool
Examines the media strategies, on both sides, that have resulted in the US government's failure to take decisive action on global warming.

The Ecological Footprint
Dr. Mathis Wackernagel introduces the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool that measures human demand on the Earth.

Community by Design
Good design of houses and neighborhoods builds community.

The Next Industrial Revolution
Architect Bill McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart bring together ecology and human design.

Planet Neighborhood
The latest in energy saving technology and good design.

Design with the Sun
Take a tour of passive solar homes and buildings.

Building the Brookhaven House
D.O.E.'s prototype passive solar home.

Home | About Us | Subjects | Specials | Titles A - Z | New Releases | FAQ | Order Information | Contact

Website design by HYPERSPHERE.
Pages generated using Film Distribution Software™

Bullfrog & Bullfrog Films are registered trademarks of Bullfrog Films, Inc.
All photographs are protected by copyright. For permission to use,
and high resolution press stills, please contact Bullfrog Films.

©2009 Bullfrog Films, Inc. All rights reserved.