The hero of Powder is an adolescent albino who is discovered living alone in the basement of his grandfather's home in a rural Texas town.

The sheriff (Lance Henriksen) and Jesse Caldwell (Mary Steenburgen) take him to a school for troubled youths which she runs. Powder (Sean Patrick Flanery) has a photographic memory, a high I.Q., and well-developed telekinetic powers.

Although he becomes the target of abuse by the community, the boy is befriended by Donald Ripley (Jeff Goldblum), a science teacher.

The heart and soul of this offbeat film written and directed by Victor Salva revolves around Powder's mystic vision and compassion. The outsider uses his telepathic abilities to convey the loving thoughts of the sheriff's comatose wife to her husband before she dies.

The dramatic finale of Powder reinforces the message that the protagonist is meant to be a Christ figure.