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New film shines light on corruption in Denver’s anti-gang efforts

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16min 22sec
Courtesy Julian Rubinstein
Terrance Roberts, who is profiled in the new film, “The Holly,” at the state capitol for the signing of a police reform bill in 2020.

The film, "The Holly," screening tonight at the Denver Film Festival, is a journey into the underworld of gang violence in Denver and a critique of the city's anti-gang programs. Among its allegations is that the police use active gang members as confidential informants. The film profiles activist Terrance Roberts, who was at the center of anti-gang efforts until he says he was targeted by gang members who eventually were tapped to replace him.

Julian Rubinstein directed the film and is also the author of the book "The Holly," which came out in 2021. Rubinstein recently sent a letter to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other public officials asking them to view the film and offer feedback.