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Where do art and nature meet? Turns out it's in a forest, in the shadow of Italy's Dolomite mountain range.

Viewers will learn about that and more at "Secrets From a Forest," a new documentary written and narrated by Minnesota outdoors photographer Jim Brandenburg. It's now playing at the Bell Museum planetarium in St. Paul.

The main "characters" in "Secrets" are spruce trees in the Paneveggio forest, which can grow to 200 feet. The forest is sometimes called "the violin forest" because those trees are used to make Stradivarius violins.

"Secrets From the Forest" will take viewers from Paneveggio to a studio where violins are created by hand, then to a concert hall, where musicians play the song of the violin forest (the string music was recorded for the film by the Minnesota Orchestra).

A native of Luverne, Minn., Brandenburg is a legendary photographer. His work is often published in National Geographic and has been collected in books including "Chased by the Light" and "Brother Wolf: A Forgotten Promise." He was twice chosen magazine photographer of the year by the National Press Photographers' Association. Brandenburg also launched a daily one-minute video project at

Secrets From a Forest
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Sun. Through Feb. 16, 2024.
Where: Bell Museum Planetarium, 2088 W. Larpenteur Av., Falcon Heights.
Tickets: $5-$10,