Yeongdo is an island in Busan Harbor, a working-class district that despite being located at the very centre of Korea’s second-largest city, has its own distinct identity. Yeongdo exerts a certain pull on the protagonists of A Letter from Kyoto – three sisters and their elderly mother who perhaps are not as close as they used to be. Hye-young (Han Seon-hwa), an aspiring writer who has moved to Seoul, returns home for an indefinite period for reasons she is reluctant to reveal. Hye-jin (Han Chae-a), the eldest, resents her sister for leaving her with all the family responsibilities, while Hye-joo (Song Ji-hyun), in her last year of high school, quietly dreams of following her sister to Seoul to become a professional dancer. As each of these three women harbour their own private worries and secrets, they start to discover things that they never knew about their mother.
With natural performances and effective storytelling, A Letter from Kyoto provides a fascinating new angle on Korean family life.