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The Oscar-winning film director Charles Ferguson has cancelled his CNN documentary on Hillary Clinton after what he described as a private campaign against the film by prominent Democrats.

Ferguson said he had decided to pull the plug after being met with a wall of silence from more than a hundred people who refused to be interviewed for the documentary.

He claimed that aides to the former secretary of state put pressure on CNN behind the scenes, and made clear that Clinton would only co-operate “over my dead body”. He also blamed a public campaign by Republicans, who claimed the film would be biased in favour of Clinton.

“Neither political party wanted the film made,” said Ferguson in an article for the Huffington Post. “After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn’t make a film of which I would be proud. And so I’m cancelling.”

Ferguson, the director behind Inside Job and No End In Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq, claimed that Clinton’s spokesman, Philippe Reines, had “interrogated” various executives at CNN about the documentary before it was announced by the broadcaster in July.

“When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film,” said Ferguson.

“Not Democrats, not Republicans – and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration.