“Judy Blume Forever,” a new documentary from Amazon Studios about the treasure of American literature behind life-altering books like “Forever…,” “SuperFudge,” “Blubber” and so many more, will premiere on Amazon Prime on April 21 — just one week before the “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” movie.
The trailer for the documentary, directed by Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok, is an absolute gem. It’s full of beautiful animation and throwback photos of young Blume, who grew up Jewish in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
It features the voices of some of our favorite creators — actors and comedians like Samantha Bee, Molly Ringwald, Lena Dunham, Anna Konkle, and celebrated writers like Tayari Jones, Jason Reynolds and Mary H.K. Choi.
It’s a technicolor portrait of a woman who, even in the trailer’s few minutes, is larger than life, sporting her blue/violet spectacles and asking the film crew to “raise our hands if you masturbate,” only to then giggle and chide herself with a sweet “oh Judy.”
Blume goes back to what inspired her books: Her daughter asked her to write stories in which “teenagers fall in love and do it” and “nobody has to die.” She also talks about the attitude behind her books — Blume recalls growing up as “good girl with a bad girl lurking inside,” telling viewers that “I could be fearless in my writing in a way that maybe I wasn’t always in my life.”
And fearless she was, writing about religion and doubt, periods, bras (and busts!,) divorce and, yes, sex.
“Everything I learned about sex and crushes,” Ringwald recounts in the trailer, “I learned from Judy.”
Blume’s fearlessness often earned her a place on banned book lists. Simon & Schuster’s Justin Chanda explains that “Forever…” often gets banned, as does “Margaret.”
Blume has always fought book bans and censorship, believing that, as we see a younger Blume say in the trailer, “the kids have a right to read and get honest answers to their questions.”
And Blume didn’t just provide these answers in her books, but in years and years of letters exchanged with her readers. We get to see a glimpse of a room that is full to the brim with boxes of these correspondences, and “Snape” author Lorrie Kim talks about corresponding with the now 85-year-old for years.
“I don’t think Judy wrote her books to be timeless — I think she wrote her books,” Reynolds says in the trailer, “and they were so timely that they became timeless.”
How apt. We can’t wait for this doc about the timeless writer.