How is the ownership of one object assigned to one person or another, and what does the nature of ownership say about the owner? In Elio Petri’s hallucinogenic black comedy Property Is No Longer a Theft, Total (Flavio Bucci) is told by his father (Salvo Randone) that theft is far worse than a mere crime. Property, he tells Total, is the only thing that signifies and separates individuals from each other – in confusing ownership, theft is an undermining of the social order.

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