Director Sydney Pollack’s long-shelved film of two January 1972 gospel concerts headlined by Aretha Franklin at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, then the cultural epicenter of Black LA, has been completed by codirector Alan Elliott following the deaths of Pollack in 2008 and Franklin ten years later. During her lifetime Franklin had blocked its release because the earlier version was not shot in synchronous sound, a colossal snafu in a vehicle meant to complement her eponymous album recorded over those two nights, and which went double platinum. Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology that facilitated a postproduction match-up of sound and image, the work as it stands now has considerable merit as a document recorded during a watershed period of the American civil rights movement. As a concert film, it’s elevated by Franklin’s powerhouse three-octave range and soulful phrasing, not to mention her harmonious backup, Reverend James Cleveland’s Southern California Community Choir, directed by the uncommonly charismatic Alexander Hamilton (then only 27). The program’s 14 standards provide a worthy introduction to gospel music for anyone unfamiliar with the genre, and also reference gospel’s ties to pop hits like Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend and George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord. But viewed simply as a movie, it lacks oomph, despite the presence in the audience of Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts and of Aretha’s father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, arriving resplendent in an impeccably tailored blue suit, and struggling, perhaps, with being eclipsed by his daughter. One has to wonder what footage wound up on the cutting- room floor, because the end product falls a little flat when everything clearly was meant to soar.