In Richard Sylvarnes' debut feature as writer, director, cinematographer, and editor, a beautiful Japanese woman (Miho Nikaido) is found wandering the streets in a daze. She's brought to a hospital where a young doctor, Dr. John Bennett (D.J. Mendel), haunted by a past tragedy, discovers a mysterious connection to her. Bennett has been resisting the advances of Dr. Samantha (Lisa Walter), while grieving over the accidental death of his wife (also played by Nikaido). When the strange, mute woman shows up, Bennett consults a psychic (Thomas Jay Ryan) in an effort to determine whom the woman is. Is she a ghost of some sort? Why has she appeared to him now? As the specifics of his wife's death are explored through flashbacks, Bennett uncovers some disturbing answers as to the identity of the woman. The Cloud of Unknowing was shot on digital video on a very low budget. Hal Hartley produced the film for Sylvarnes, who worked as a still photographer on Hartley's Henry Fool, in which Ryan played the title character. Nikaido and Mendel have also appeared in Hartley's films. The Cloud of Unknowing was shown in competition at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival.