Main content

Tre Maison Dasan

TRE MAISON DASAN is an intimate portrait of three boys growing up, each with a parent in prison. Directly told through the child’s perspective, the film is an exploration of relationships and separation, masculinity, and coming of age in America when a parent is behind bars.

Tre, Maison and Dasan are three very different boys. Tre is a spirited 13 year old who hides his emotions behind a mask of tough talk and hard edges. Maison is a bright eyed 11 year old with an encyclopedic mind and deep love for those around him. Dasan is a sensitive 6 year old with an incredible capacity for empathy and curiosity. Their parents are not incarcerated for the low-level offenses that have become infamous in conversations around mass-incarceration, but their histories and relationships beg many questions about Justice and the lasting and rippling effects of a system at large.

'Beautiful film...An excellent addition to any education, nursing, public health, public policy, or social work curriculum. Through the eyes of the namesake children, we feel the pain of incarceration-related parental separation and stigma. We hear Tre's father aptly say 'This isn't normal, man' during their visits, and yet parental incarceration has become the norm for millions of American children. The film will help prepare students to support affected families. It will also encourage dialogue on systems-level changes that will better serve families and communities than our current over-reliance on incarceration.' Laurie Goshin, Associate Professor of Nursing, Hunter College - CUNY

'Heart-rending...Fascinating and deeply touching...A remarkable film, powerful in its emotional content and profound in its criticism of a system that sets the next generation up for failure...Nonfiction filmmaking doesn't get much better than this.' Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail

'Poignant...The significance of maintaining the attachment relationship via prison visits and telephone calls was realistically and heartbreakingly apparent throughout the film. Tre Maison Dasanallows one to see incarceration through the eyes of children, incarcerated parents, and loving grandparents who often provide care when their sons and daughters are incarcerated. The film left me wondering what will happen to Tre? My hope is that he will be provided with the opportunity to maximize his potential and realize his true worth.' Dr. Marian S. Harris, Professor of Social Work, University of Washington Tacoma

'Tre Maison Dasan presents a vivid portrayal of the collateral consequences of mass incarceration. In telling the story of three boys impacted by parental incarceration, the film provides valuable perspective for anyone working in, or wanting to work in, the criminal justice field.' Dr. Danielle Rousseau, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Boston University

'Tre Maison Dasan gives a raw, in-depth look at the experiences of children with incarcerated parents. This documentary is a must-see to understand the extensive impacts of mass incarceration.' Breanna Boppre, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Wichita State University

'Engrossing...Potent, sometimes wrenchingly intimate...This feature directorial debut is an excellent non-fiction drama.' Dennis Harvey, Variety

'Gripping...Offers a fresh and heartrending perspective...This picture opens our eyes to a social disruption that has been underexposed and that we all ignore at our peril.' Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter

'Capture[s] some deeply emotional moments.' Andy Smith, Providence Journal

'This is not a 'homeless to Harvard' story, it's about more typical children who are living with a tremendous stigma and whose futures may not be bright. And the story may be a more common occurrence than many of us would believe.' Paul Parcellin, Film Threat

'Engrossing and illuminating.' Jay Seaver, eFilmCritic


Main credits

Tiller, Denali (film director)
Tiller, Denali (film producer)
Piligian, Craig (film producer)
Stern, Rebecca (film producer)
Gourlay, Jon (photographer)
Rojas Felice, Carlos (editor of moving image work)
Talmi, Gil (composer (expression))
Janson, Tre (on-screen participant)
Lopes, Dasan (on-screen participant)
Teixeira, Maison (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Original score, Gil Talmi; editor, Carlos Rojas Felice; cinematographer, Jon Gourlay.

Related Films

Incarcerating US

Exposes America's prison problem and explores various criminal justice…

Like Any Other Kid

Follows the intimate relationships between incarcerated youth and staff…