Boys of Incarcerated Parents: The Stories of Tre Maison Dasan on Independent Lens

Last Updated by Juliet Hulme on
TitleTre Maison Dasan on Independent Lens 
Original PostMarch 27, 2019
Updated AirdatesMonday, May 20, 2019

An estimated 1 in 14 children has a parent incarcerated right now in America. Mix that with everyday struggles of growing up as a minority in today’s society and you have a recipe for hardship. Produced and directed by Denali Tiller, Tre Maison Dasan takes an intimate and authentic look into the lives, words, and emotions of three young boys and how they handle seeing their parent in prison. Each boy faces the challenges of maintaining a relationship with his parent while simultaneously avoiding societal stereotypes and those who assume “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Interested in empowering artists and passionate about youth advocacy, specifically how boys are raised in America, Ms. Tiller paints a portrait that depletes the negative stereotypes of children raised by an incarcerated parent and instead, provides insight to the adversity these families face. At 13, Tre Janson is tough and hard-edged as he hides his emotions but presents a bright spirit. Maison Teixeira is a loving and friendly 11-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The youngest, Dasan Lopes, is a sensitive yet curious and compassionate 6-year-old. Through their stories, the audience is able to disregard past stereotypes as this film offers a fresh look into the reality of children who are growing up with an incarcerated parent.

Recognizing the lack of children perspective in films (especially children of color), Ms. Tiller says her main goal is to give these three boys their own voice and provide the audience with a raw look into their lives and emotions. Moreover, Ms. Tiller wants this project to be objective, which means there is no call-to-action that may take away from the authenticity of Tre Maison Dasan.

After the April 1 premiere, Tre Maison Dasan on Independent Lens encores on Thursday, April 4 at 1:30 p.m.