Film is a collaborative art form, sure, but it also depends on a wider ecosystem of distributors, exhibitors, evangelists and fans for its survival.

This became clear during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Japanese filmmakers spearheaded multiple initiatives to support the country’s independent cinemas, known as “mini theaters.” As the organizers of the #SaveTheCinema project said at the time, “Films are not complete until they are seen by people.”

That’s the main takeaway from “Hijacked Youth Dare to Stop Us 2,” an unlikely sequel to Kazuya Shiraishi’s 2018 biopic about renegade director Koji Wakamatsu and the heyday of the Japanese New Wave.