Are you there, audiences? It’s her, Judy Blume.
The beloved author of “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and more pioneering YA novels is at the center of documentary “Judy Blume Forever.” Emmy-winning filmmakers Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok follow Blume’s life story from adolescent author to banned writer fighting censorship. Fellow acclaimed authors and artists revisit how Blume’s work impacted their own lives, and fans like Lena Dunham and Molly Ringwald share their personal letters to Blume across decades in the film.
Upcoming adaptations of Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and “Forever” are also set to debut.
Per the film’s official synopsis, for decades, Blume’s radical honesty has comforted and captivated readers — and landed her at the center of controversy for her frankness about puberty and sex. Now the beloved American author candidly shares her own coming-of-age story. With humor, sensitivity, and a healthy dose of adolescent cringe, “Judy Blume Forever” tells the story of the woman whose trail-blazing books changed the way millions of readers understand themselves, their sexuality, and what it means to grow up.
Co-director Pardo said during IndieWire’s Sundance Studio that she was a “super-fan” of Blume’s novels growing up. However, convincing Blume to partake in the documentary was a “long process” beginning in 2018. “She was hesitant about opening herself up,” Pardo said. “She’s the kind of person where if she’s going to do it, if she’s going to tell her story, she’s going to be honest.”
IndieWire critic Kate Erbland praised the documentary for chronicling Blume’s “remarkable life” ranging from her relationship with her editor Richard W. Jackson to supporting the reading of banned books and even saving fan mail.
“That’s the magic of Judy Blume: She shows up, again and again, for kids (‘of all ages,’ she says at one point) who need her, who relish her honesty and candor, who realize how wonderful and rare it is for an adult to meet them on their level,” Erbland wrote in the review. “More than 50 years into her career, Blume is still making her mark on the world (and its youngest citizens), making a sterling case for the possibility that being a good person is truly the best medicine.”
“Judy Blume Forever” premieres April 21 on Prime Video.
Check out the trailer below.