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CIFF - Tre Maison Dasan

Saturday, March 30, 2019
Tower City Center, 230 W Huron Rd., Cleveland OH 44113
IRTF partners with the 43rd Cleveland International Film Festival to present this compelling documentary about the separation of children from their parents--here, by the US incaraceration system. An astounding 1 in 14 youths in the US have a parent in custody.
Director: Denali Tiller
With:Tre Janson, Dasan Lopes, Maison Teixeira, Alivia Bastien, Manuel Teixeira, Stephanie Moniz, Tyree Freeman, TeLisa Richardson, Luis Lopes, Inez Momiz, Shirley Teixeira, Kerri Janson, Derrick Scurry, Suzanne Hermiz, Joyce Dixson-Haskett, Charles Rardin, Heidi Brown.

1 hour 34 minutes

Official Site:

From CIFF: Tre, Maison, and Dasan are all very different from one another. Tre, 13, is a rebellious and defiant aspiring rapper. Maison, 11, is a precocious and energetic young man whose vocabulary far exceeds that of most preteens. And Dasan, six, is a sweet and tender-hearted boy who is often shy in front of the camera. What unites Tre, Maison, and Dasan is that each of them has a parent in prison…and they are not alone. Currently, one in 14 children in the United States have an incarcerated parent. Providing insight into the many childhoods marked by the criminal justice system, TRE MAISON DASAN follows the lives of these boys and explores the empty spaces that remain when a parent goes to prison. Both poignant and insightful with its fly-on-the-wall approach, this documentary shows that when mothers and fathers serve long sentences, it is not only the perpetrators who are punished. —G.S.

Review: The United States is by far the world’s leader in incarceration, with the current trend toward privatization of prisons for profit assuring that dubious title is unlikely to be shed anytime soon. One under-discussed consequence of this lust for lockup is the fact that an estimated one in 14 American youths have a parent in custody. Denali Tiller’s potent, sometimes wrenchingly intimate “Tre Maison Dasan” follows three Rhode Island boys raised under those circumstances, with fathers behind bars (and one mother just newly released).

All have problems — different ones, but most at least partly traceable to the insecurity and instability bred by a parent’s long absence. This engrossing documentary focuses primarily on the kids as each grows through some rough developmental patches. But en route a few stereotypes get demolished, most notably the notion that every convict is a “deadbeat dad” or otherwise inherently bad person. Very well-crafted, this feature directorial debut is an excellent non-fiction drama with several layers of topical resonance to encourage its exposure in an election year.

Read more here.

Screenings of this film at Tower City Center:

Saturday, March 30, 1:50pm

Sunday, March 31, 4:15pm

See the full schedule of films for the 43rd annual Cleveland International Film Festival at 

TICKETS. For $1 off the regular ticket price, use the code IRTFCA

1– online:

2– by phone:  1-877-304-FILM

3– in person: Film Festival Box Office in the Tower City Cinemas lobby

TIP: Many films at the 43rd annual Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) will go on standby. Don’t wait until the day of the film to purchase your ticket. Make an early purchase for any CIFF film you’d like to see during the festival. Regular ticket price for non-CIFF members is $16. Students and seniors: $14. College students: films are free with valid ID, M-F 9am-3pm.