‘The Cloud of Unknowing’ is a nineteen minute documentary on a modern day hermit who dedicated his life to the mystical tradition of contemplative prayer. Rodney Thompson, a Cork man, spent almost thirty years in an isolated cottage in Connemara in pursuit of solitude, silence and prayer. Without electricity or running water, Mr Thompson lived simply, prayed ceaselessly and welcomed visitors to his hermitage close to Roundstone, Galway.
Filled with majestic vistas and robust Connemara weather, the film allows the viewer to step into the mind of a hermit, as the natural world unfolds at an unhurried pace.
“When I was introduced to Rodney I was struck by his graceful and calm benevolence. I wanted to communicate something of this in the film. He has followed an ancient mystical tradition, dating back to the third century Desert Fathers and Mothers. And his way of being in the world is a blissful respite from the ever increasing hectic pace of contemporary life. As a documentary film maker, I’m perhaps more motivated by questions of form than content. So the film that I made is not a conventional biography of Rodney Thompson. Instead, it’s oriented towards the experience of the viewer. It tries to move beyond words and images, much like contemplative prayer itself.”
- Mike Hannon