Exploring individual responses to rapid social change, Cowboy and Maria in town follows the parallel lives of its two central characters. Cowboy and Maria have independently landed in Port Moresby, negotiating ways to survive urban life in a city ranked as one of the most dangerous in the world. Cowboy is an ex-raskol (urban bandit) and Maria an inhabitant of a squatter settlement. Unemployed and with a jail record, Cowboy has constructed an electric guitar out of scrap materials and plays on street corners. Maria lives an equally precarious existence, cultivating a seasonal garden in an urban settlement inflamed by frustration and intertribal conflicts. Far from being third world victims, they go about their daily lives with humour and imagination, rising to the challenge of enormous cultural upheaval.
It's New Year's Eve. Three drunkards evoke a legend. The legend tells that the last person to die in a year, if he is a great sinner, will have to drive during the whole year the Phantom Chariot, the one that picks up the souls of the dead.
Whilst on a short weekend getaway, Louise shoots a man who had tried to rape Thelma. Due to the incriminating circumstances, they make a run for it and thus a cross country chase ensues for the two fugitives.
Bored with her marriage to burnt out poet turned corporate executive Thierry, Zandalee falls prey to an old friend of her husband, the manipulative and egotistical Johhny and becomes enmeshed in a sensual, passionate and destructive affair.