Marfa exists at a particular cultural nexus with a constant clash between the art community (inspired to come to Marfa by the American sculptor, Donald Judd), the white community and the Mexican American community. On top of that theres a smothering Border Patrol presence despite the fact the Mexican border is 68 miles away. There is an 11pm curfew for teenagers and they still have corporal punishment in the schools. They paddle kids in school from kindergarten through high school.
Navigating all of this and more is Adam, a half-white half-Hispanic teenager thats just trying to figure shit out. His mother, Mary, loves him but is mostly consumed with tending to her collection of birds. His neighbor, Donna, a 23 year old mother to a year old son and girlfriend to a jailed drug dealer, is determined to seduce Adam on his 16th birthday despite his loving relationship to his age-appropriate girlfriend, Inez. To further complicate things for Adam, a nameless promiscuous young woman, sweeps into town as an artist-in-residence at a local art foundation and sets out to give Adam a full sex education.
Tom, a border patrol agent with a lot of emotional baggage, is fixated on Adams mother and Adams girlfriend and Adam too. He longs for the family that he doesnt have.