The Holly

Filmed over eight years, THE HOLLY goes deep inside a gentrifying community in Denver, where a shooting case involving an activist becomes a window into the political machinations of urban development and the city’s gang activity.


In release

About the Filmmakers


Julian Rubinstein
 Julian Rubinstein

Julian Rubinstein is an award-winning journalist, educator, author and documentary filmmaker. His new non-fiction book, The Holly: Five Bullets, One Gun and the Struggle to Save an American Neighborhood, was the winner of the 2022 Colorado Book Award and the 2022 High Plains Book Award and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. His documentary, also called The Holly, won multiple awards at film festivals in 2022 and will be released in theaters in February 2023. His first book, Ballad of the Whiskey Robber, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. His magazine work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated and others. He is Visiting Professor of the Practice in Documentary Journalism at the University of Denver.



“Engrossing… Roberts emerges as a Shakespearean figure of forceful magnetism.”

Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times

“Riveting… The shocking story of ‘The Holly’ continues to rile Denver’s power structure.”

John Wenzel, The Denver Post

“A documentary that many of the most powerful people…do not want you to see. Denver’s very own Bonfire of the Vanities.”

John Moore, Denver Gazette

Premieres & Awards

Investigative Reporters & Editors' Longform Journalism in Video award

2024 Investigative Reporters & Editors